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.”