Saturday, July 18, 2009

In a Maslow Mood

The famous "growth psychologist": Abraham Maslow is someone who is in huge agreement with me (but he got there first.) He's the guy who went global with the idea of "self-actualization." Another guy, Kurt Goldstein, actually came up with the idea.

It's not a very sexy term, but it's a dazzling goal. Essentially, it's making the choices and doing the things that will best lead us each toward full potential, in mind, body, and spirit, in work and in love. Who could argue with that?

On the other hand, who consistently lives by it? Maybe two percent of us do it most of the time, Maslow said at one point. And that's partly because much of the world's population is occupied with trying to be safe and well-fed, which has to come first.

But even on a full stomach, it's not so easy. I find that some of his bits of wisdom remind me of my self-actualizing intentions. Here are a couple of my favored Maslow quotes:

“We fear to know the fearsome and unsavory aspects of ourselves, but we fear even more to know the godlike in ourselves.”

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

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kenju said...

I've been trying to find the Godlike in me for years! lol

That quote reminds me; I got an email from a good blogger friend this morning, saying that she had discovered a blog that had lifted whole posts from her blog and passed them off as his own. He even stole her poetry. This guy professed to be a good Buddhist and a spiritual person on the path.

He's probably fearing something or someone now, because after 10-15 comments about his stealing her blog content, his blog has disappeared altogether.

kenju said...

P.S. If you want to cehck and see if any of your content is stolen, go here:

Debra W said...

Wow, Kenju, that is really disconcerting! I have heard about this happening before, but each time it happens, I am surprised. What do people hope to gain by stealing whole bodies of work?????

Peggy, I remember Maslow from college. Having been a psychology major, I got to study all of those interesting thinkers.

It is such a common human tendency to sell ourselves short. Maybe it has something to do with the fear of failing if we admit that we know we are capable. Much easier to talk ourselves down and fail, than to talk ourselves up, and actually succeed.

kenju said...

You might like to know that the blog of the plagiarist was deleted, then he started one with a new name, but some of the same content - and that one got deleted too. We are on to him!!

Peggy Payne said...

What an episode, Kenju! A clear case of non-self-actualizing. Not very Buddhist either. I was told that a copy of the book I co-authored, The Healing Power of Doing Good, was stolen from my local library. Ironic.

Didn't realize you were a psych major, Debbie, but it fits. I went looking for Maslow books yesterday--the only thing in my local library system was Maslow on business and I put a hold on that, since it was all checked out. (Maybe the other books were stolen.)

Debra W said...

Good job, Kenju! When these individuals get away with this stuff, their psychosis only grows. I recently read about a blogger who told people that she was pregnant and that the baby was going to die shortly after birth. She gathered support, both financial and emotional, from hundreds of other bloggers. When she posted pictures of "the baby", someone recognized it as one of those eerily life-like dolls because she had the same exact one. Needless to say, the story unraveled like a ball of yarn in the midst of some curious kittens! The blogger who made up the tale is now being prosecuted for fraud and has a whole lot of people angry with her for taking advantage of their heartstrings.

I suppose there are a lot of people who get away with stealing or making up stories, but it eventually catches up to them. They seem to thrive on the attention and even the drama of getting caught.

Peggy, how ironic it is that someone was bold enough to steal a book with the title, "The Healing Power of Doing Good" from the library! Maybe after reading it, they will return the book with a letter of apology and a few extra copies for others to enjoy!(or maybe not, but we can dream)

Yes, although Maslow's studies had a lot to do with psychology, the application of his theories became very popular in business with advertisers. That's probably why the library only has the business book, but then again, someone may have really "needed' the other books and couldn't wait to check them out, so they just took them home. And yes, I was a Psych major, although I would have much rather have done something with writing. But psych has served me well and I don't regret having the knowledge.

Peggy Payne said...

I imagined the book thief thinking: I'm a person who helps people SO MUCH and so I really really NEED this book.

Debra W said...

Justification and entitlement. You are probably correct.

Peggy Payne said...

I hadn't thought of those terms, but they do describe exactly what I meant.