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Friday, August 17, 2007

Self Actualizing People and Abraham Maslow

Nevado Huascarán, Peru's highest peak at nearly 7,000m

Wayne Dyer speaks a lot about the influence Abraham Maslow, one of the founders of humanistic psychology, had on him during his formative years at university, and of course Maslow is the psychologist who in 1943 came up with the the Hierarchy of Needs that has been taught in psychology departments at most universities ever since. The Hierarchy of Needs contends that as humans meet basic needs such as safety, food, sex, and companionship, they then seek to satisfy successively higher needs, growth needs, such as self-actualization.

So Dyer relates that Maslow often said that the difference between self-actualizers and ordinary people is that self-actualizers never put their attention on what is missing in their lives, or on what is in their lives (if they don't like what is), or on what has always been, or on what used to be (the past), but they put their attention on, and they keep it on what they intend to manifest (on their goals). It makes no difference to them what kind of negative evidence comes their way, or what kind of obstacles they run into, they never take their mind off that picture.

Henry David Thoreau had this to say about a similar subject: "If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams, and endeavor to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with success unexpected in common hours."

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