Qualities of Self-actualizing People – there’s more to Abraham Maslow than The Hierarchy of Needs
WHILE doing some research on motivation, I’ve learned a little more about Abraham Maslow, whom you probably know from his development of the “Hierarchy of Needs”.
Later in his life he studied people whom he deemed to be “Self-actualized”, and realized that they shared some fundamental personality traits.
From the entry in Wikipedia:
“All were “reality centered,” able to differentiate what was fraudulent from what was genuine. They were also “problem centered,” meaning that they treated life’s difficulties as problems that demanded solutions. These individuals also were comfortable being alone and had healthy personal relationships. They had only a few close friends and family rather than a large number of shallow relationships.
Self-actualizing people tend to focus on problems outside themselves; have a clear sense of what is true and what is false; are spontaneous and creative; and are not bound too strictly by social conventions.
Maslow noticed that self-actualized individuals had a better insight of reality, deeply accepted themselves, others and the world, and also had faced many problems and were known to be impulsive people. These self-actualized individuals were very independent and private when it came to their environment and culture, especially their very own individual development on “potentialities and inner resources”.
According to Maslow, self-actualizing people share the following qualities:
- Truth: honest, reality, beauty, pure, clean and unadulterated completeness
- Goodness: rightness, desirability, uprightness, benevolence, honesty
- Beauty: rightness, form, aliveness, simplicity, richness, wholeness, perfection, completion,
- Wholeness: unity, integration, tendency to oneness, interconnectedness, simplicity, organization, structure, order, not dissociated, synergy
- Dichotomy-transcendence: acceptance, resolution, integration, polarities, opposites, contradictions
- Aliveness: process, not-deadness, spontaneity, self-regulation, full-functioning
- Unique: idiosyncrasy, individuality, non comparability, novelty
- Perfection: nothing superfluous, nothing lacking, everything in its right place, just-rightness, suitability, justice
- Necessity: inevitability: it must be just that way, not changed in any slightest way
- Completion: ending, justice, fulfillment
- Justice: fairness, suitability, disinterestedness, non partiality,
- Order: lawfulness, rightness, perfectly arranged
- Simplicity: nakedness, abstract, essential skeletal, bluntness
- Richness: differentiation, complexity, intricacy, totality
- Effortlessness: ease; lack of strain, striving, or difficulty
- Playfulness: fun, joy, amusement
- Self-sufficiency: autonomy, independence, self-determining.
Independence looms large, as do Honesty and Justice.
It is a crying shame, and will be the downfall of civilization unless reversed, that so many have lost sight of these fundamental virtues, especially our so-called intellectual “leaders”.