“They must be what they can be” Maslow

Maslow Theory of Human MotivationAbraham Maslow, the man who proposed Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”, said once: “They must be what they can be”.

He defined with this statement self-actualizing people. Self-actualization was first coined by Abraham Maslow. He explained it like this: “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This is the need we may call self-actualization … It refers to man’s desire for fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming …”

When we know about our talents and skills and we live them, we are self-actualizing, then we are what we can be.

Including esteem in our lives allows us to develop our self-esteem. Having a high self-esteem means that we know ourselves and we acknowledge ourselves in what we are and in what we do. Esteem creates a situation in which we can develop our own unique talents and we can live them. This is what Abraham Maslow defines with self-actualization.

A Theory of Human Motivation

Maslow Theory of Human Motivation

Book Facts

  • Author: Abraham H. Maslow
  • Publisher: Martino Fine Books (June 12, 2013)
  • Paperback, also available as Hardcover and ebook
  • 22 pages

2013 Reprint of 1943 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. This is the article in which Maslow first presented his hierarchy of needs. It was first printed in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”. Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans’ innate curiosity. His theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology, some of which focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. Maslow described various needs and used the terms “Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence” needs to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through. Maslow studied what he called exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglass rather than mentally ill or neurotic people.

Reader reviews

Very insightful and informative. No wonder the theory is being taught to college and grad students. Hopefully some of it stays with more people. That may increase awareness and, subsequently, quality of life.

Everyone should read this essay by Maslow in order to further develop an understanding of one’s self and his or her surroundings. By being aware of determinants or motivators, you will be better equipped to deal with underlying emotional issues when in self-introspection.

If you haven’t read this theory by Maslow then you are missing out! Like literally this theory is amazing. I completely base my life and decisions around his writing!


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