When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.
There is, first, the desire for strength, for achievement, for adequacy, for confidence in the face of the world, and for independence and freedom. Secondly, we have what we may call the desire for reputation or prestige
One’s only rival is one’s own potentialities. One’s only failure is failing to live up to one’s own possibilities. In this sense, every man can be a king, and must therefore be treated like a king.
There are no perfect human beings! Persons can be found who are good, very good indeed, in fact, great. There do in fact exist creators, seers, sages, saints, shakers, and movers…even if they are uncommon and do not come by the dozen. And yet these very same people can at times be boring, irritating, petulant, selfish, angry, or depressed. To avoid disillusionment with human nature, we must first give up our illusions about it.
Topics: Wisdom, People, Perfection
It seems that the necessary thing to do is not to fear mistakes, to plunge in, to do the best that one can, hoping to learn enough from blunders to correct them eventually.
Topics: Fear, Risk, Courage
Whereas the average individuals “often have not the slightest idea of what they are, of what they want, of what their own opinions are,” self-actualizing individuals have “superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions in general.
The dichotomy between selfishness and unselfishness disappears altogether in healthy people because in principle every act is both selfish and unselfish.
The fact is that people are good, if only their fundamental wishes are satisfied, their wish for affection and security. Give people affection and security, and they will give affection and be secure in their feelings and their behavior.
Become aware of internal, subjective, sub-verbal experiences, so that these experiences can be brought into the world of abstraction, of conversation, of naming, etc. with the consequence that it immediately becomes possible for a certain amount of control to be exerted over these hitherto unconscious and uncontrollable processes.
Topics: Self-Knowledge, Identity
Innocence can be redefined and called stupidity. Honesty can be called gullibility. Candor becomes lack of common sense. Interest in your work can be called cowardice. Generosity can be called soft-headedness, and observe: the former is disturbing.
I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.
Topics: Knowledge, Life, Kindness, Ability, Compassion, Success, Past and Present, People, Mind, Live-now, The Mind
As one studies these preconditions, one becomes saddened by the ease with which human potentiality can be destroyed or repressed, so that a fully-human person can seem like a miracle, so improbable a happening as to be awe-inspiring. And simultaneously one is heartened by the fact that self-actualizing persons do in fact exist, that they are therefore possible, that the gauntlet of dangers can be run, that the finish line can be crossed.
Topics: Potential, Act, Heart, Persona
To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.
Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves. What human beings can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature. This need we may call self-actualization.
Topics: Peace, Vision, Art, Purpose, Music
I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes, or of appearing naive.
Duty cannot be contrasted with pleasure nor work with play when duty is pleasure, when work is play, and people doing their duty are simultaneously seeking pleasure and being happy.
If the most socially identified people are themselves the most individualistic people, of what use is it to retain the polarity? If the most mature are also the most childlike? And if the most ethical and moral people are also the lustiest and most animal.
About eighty to ninety per cent of the population must be rated about as high in ego-security as the most secure individuals in our society, who comprise perhaps five or ten per cent at most.
Self-actualizing people have a deep feeling of identification, sympathy, and affection for human beings in general. They feel kinship and connection, as if all people were members of a single family.
Topics: People, Love
The sacred is in the ordinary, in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s backyard.
Life could be vastly improved if we could count our blessings as self-actualizing people can and do, and if we could retain their constant sense of good fortune and gratitude for it.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Carl Rogers American Psychologist
- Howard Gardner American Psychologist
- Timothy Leary American Psychologist
- Erich Fromm German Social Philosopher
- Orval Hobart Mowrer American Psychologist
- B. F. Skinner American Psychologist
- George W. Crane American Psychologist
- Bruno Bettelheim Austrian-born Psychoanalyst
- Martin Seligman American Psychologist
- Carl Gustav Jung Swiss Psychologist