Self Actualization


In his 1943 paper titled “A Theory of Human Motivation”, Abraham Maslow
posited what he referred to as a Hierarchy of Human Needs.  The accompanying
diagram shows these needs as a Pyramidal structure with Physiological Needs
as the basis, upon which we see in successive layers, Safety Needs, the need
for Love and Belonging, the need for Esteem, and ultimately, the need for

Though there are many more modern theories of Human Motivation and Behavior
Maslows architecture remains in my view an excellent schema as a predictor
of well adjusted behavior.

We should not attempt to sublimate or ignore any of our fundamental needs.

We should keep them in balance.

If we get “stuck” at any one “level” of this hiearchy

Become obsessed with anything at any level at the expense of others

We are out of balance.

I would argue that Self-Actualization is achieved through Non-Attachment,
which does NOT mean asceticism or withdrawal from the world, or denial of
our fundamental needs as human beings.

Rather, Non-Attachment helps us to put our needs and motivations in proper
balance and frees us from the distortions that occur when we become unbalanced
or “stuck” in any one level of our hierarchy of needs.


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