This blog post is a wonderful collection of Self Actualization Quotes by Maslow/

We really want to know how Abraham Maslow explained Self Actualization in his books.

  • Self-actualizing people enjoy life in general and practically all its aspects, while most other people enjoy only stray moments of triumph … (Maslow, 1999, p. 37)

  •  Human life will never be understood unless its highest aspirations are taken into account. Growth, self-actualization, the striving toward health, the quest for identity and autonomy, the yearning for excellence (and other ways of phrasing the striving “upward”) must by now be accepted beyond question as a widespread and perhaps universal human tendency … (Maslow, 1954, Motivation and Personality,  pp.xii-xiii)



                                            Image by Aziz Acharki @ Unsplash

  •  “The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.”  ~ Abraham Maslow

  •  Every human being has both sets of forces within [them]. One set clings to safety and defensiveness out of fear, tending to regress backward, hanging on to the past . . . afraid to take chances, afraid to jeopardize what [one] already has, afraid of independence, freedom and separateness. The other set of forces impels [one] forward toward wholeness of Self and uniqueness of Self, toward full functioning of all [one’s] capacities, toward confidence in the face of the external world at the same time that [one] can accept [one’s] deepest, real, unconscious Self . . . This basic dilemma or conflict between the defensive forces and the growth trends I conceive to be existential, imbedded in the deepest nature of the human being, now and forever into the future.—Abraham Maslow (1962/1998) 

    • There is now emerging over the horizon a new conception of human sickness and of human health, a psychology that I find so thrilling and so full of wonderful possibilities . . .—Abraham Maslow (1962/1998)
  • The more we learn about man’s natural tendencies, the easier it will be to tell him how to be good, how to be happy, how to be fruitful, how to respect himself, how to love, how to fulfill his highest potentialities … The thing to do seems to be to find out what one is really like inside; deep down, as a member of the human species and as a particular individual (Maslow, 1987, p. 6).

    •  “It would seem that every human being comes at birth into society not as a lump of clay to be molded by society, but rather as a structure which society may warp or suppress or build upon."

      •   Growth takes place when the next step forward is subjectively more delightful, more joyous, more intrinsically satisfying than the previous gratification which we have become familiar and even bored (Maslow, 1999, p. 53).

        •  According to Maslow,a peak experience involves:

          "Feelings of limitless horizons opening up to the vision, the feeling of being simultaneously more powerful and also more helpless than one ever was before, the feeling of ecstasy and wonder and awe, the loss of placement in time and space with, finally, the conviction that something extremely important and valuable had happened, so that the subject was to some extent transformed and strengthened even in his daily life by such experiences." 

          • About Transdensence, Abraham Maslow said
          “As he [the individual having peak experiences] gets to be more purely and singly himself [one's self] he [the individual] is more able to fuse with the world ... for example the creator becomes one with his work being created, the mother feels one with her child" (Maslow, 1961,p. 125, cited in Koltko-Rivera, 2006
        • “The science of psychology has been more successful on the negative than on the positive side  It has been revealed to us much about man’s shortcomings, his illness, his sins, but little about his potentialities, his virtues, his achievable aspirations, or his psychological health. We must find out what psychology might be if it could free itself from the stultifying effects of limited, pessimistic and stingy preoccupations with human nature.” (Motivation and Personality, 1954, p.354)

Recommended reading:

Maslow, A.H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 370-396.

Maslow, A.H. (1964). Religions, Values and Peak-experiences. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.

Maslow, A.H. (1987). Motivation and Personality. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Maslow, A.H. (1999). Towards a Psychology of Being. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Maslow, A.H. (1964). Religions, Values and Peak-experiences. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.

Maslow, A.H. (1980). The Farther Reaches of Human Nature (An Esalen Book). New York, NY: Penguin.

Maslow, A.H. (1987). Motivation and Personality. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Harper & Row.

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9. What Abraham Maslow really said about Self Actualization: A Collection of Maslow quotes about Self Actualization

 - "Self-actualization is the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming."
- "The ability to be independent of environment and to use it instead for one's own purpose."
- "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself."
- "What a man can be, he must be."
- "The way to grow and to be able to reach the higher levels of self-actualization is to accept yourself and to become secure in your own being."
- "Self-actualization is the ultimate goal of all human beings, and it is the highest level of growth and development that a person can achieve."
- "Self-actualization is the ultimate goal of life, and it is the process of becoming the best version of yourself.

There is no denying that Abraham Maslow is a well-known and highly respected name in the field of psychology. He is most famous for his work on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which identifies the various stages of psychological and emotional development that humans go through. But Maslow’s work also dives into the concept of self-actualization, which is the pinnacle of human development and a key priority for Maslow in his work.

Maslow’s quotes on self-actualization are some of the most inspiring and insightful pieces of advice that one can find. He believed that self-actualization is a natural process that all humans should strive for in order to reach their full potential. He said, “It is a continual process of becoming, of self-discovery and of self-creation.

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