75 quotes from Abraham Maslow (and human needs)

Abraham Maslow is one of the leading psychologists of the 20th century. He is known as the father of one of the great currents of psychology, humanism. His theory, known as the Pyramid of the Hierarchy of Human Needs, stems from the idea that human actions arise from motivation directed towards the goal of meeting certain needs.

At the highest level of this pyramid are the needs for self-actualization, which are internal needs of a spiritual, moral or mission-seeking nature.

  • To learn more, we invite you to read our article: “Abraham Maslow’s Personality Theory”

Table of Contents

Abraham Maslow’s Most Famous and Memorized Phrases

Throughout his life, Maslow uttered various comprehensive quotes that illustrate his theory.

In this article, we have compiled the best quotes, famous quotes and thoughts from Abraham Maslow.

1. Self-fulfilling people have a deep sense of identification, sympathy and affection for human beings in general. They feel a kinship and a connection, as if everyone is a member of their family

When we feel fulfilled, we will feel good and have more self-esteem. Which, in turn, will impact relationships with others.

2. A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write. What a man can be, he must be

You have to fight for what you really love to give meaning to your life.

3. Be independent of the good opinion of others

You have to find in yourself the motivations that make you happy.

4. We can focus on defense, security or fear. But on the opposite side, there is the option of growth. Choosing growth over fear twelve times a day means moving twelve times a day towards self-actualization.

Maslow is known as one of the most influential psychologists in the field of personal development.

5. We must understand love, we must be able to teach it, to create it, to predict it, otherwise the world is lost in hostility and suspicion.

Love is one of the most pleasant sensations you can have in life. This is our great motivation.

6. The people we call sick are those who are not themselves, those who have created all kinds of neurotic defenses.

Abraham Maslow is one of the psychologists behind positive psychology.

7. If you are deliberately planning to be less than you are capable of being, I warn you that you will be deeply miserable for the rest of your life.

When someone has a purpose in life, they have to fight for it.

8. One can choose to be oriented towards security or oriented towards growth. Growth must be chosen over and over again; fear must be overcome over and over again.

Maslow’s pyramid has several stages and each of them must be overcome to continue.

9. Many of us, most of the time, do not listen to ourselves, but listen to the introjected voices of mother, father, the system, the elderly, authority or tradition.

Culture and the environment influence the way we think. Many times we don’t let ourselves hear what we want to tell ourselves.

10. In some definable and empirical senses, man needs to live in beauty rather than ugliness, just as he needs food for his hungry stomach or rest for his tired stomach.

A thought-provoking quote from Abraham Maslow.

11. I have the impression that the concept of creativity and that of a healthy, fulfilling and fully human person come closer and closer and can turn out to be identical.

Abraham Maslow, in reference to creativity.

12. You cannot choose wisely in life without daring to listen to yourself, yourself, at every moment of your life.

For this author, people are active agents of our change.

13. Satisfying the need for self-esteem leads to feelings of self-worth, worth, strength, capacity and self-sufficiency, to be useful and needed in the world.

There is a close relationship between self-esteem and self-confidence.

14. The study of motivation must be, in part, the study of the ends, desires or ultimate needs of human beings.

Maslow brought great knowledge to the theories of motivation.

15. We could define therapy as a search for value

Humanistic therapy is based on the idea that self-realization and personal well-being are linked.

16. To invent or create, one must possess the “arrogance of creativity” that many researchers have emphasized. But if all you have is arrogance without humility, then you are a paranoid. We must be aware not only of the divine possibilities within us, but also of human existential limits.

We must believe in ourselves, but always respect others.

17. All the evidence available to us indicates that it is reasonable to assume that in virtually all human beings, and in almost all newborns, there is an active will, movement towards health, growth and survival. fulfillment.

People are active in our own personal development. This is why Maslow has influenced many coaching professionals.

18. Most of us could be better than we really are

We have the capacity to continuously surpass ourselves.

19. Life is a continuous process of choosing between safety and risk. It takes the choice of growth ten times a day

This phrase refers to the concept of a comfort zone.

20. False optimism sooner or later means disappointment, hatred and despair.

Optimism must be genuine, otherwise it will end in frustration.

21. There is anthropological evidence that indicates that the basic or ultimate desires of all human beings hardly differ from their daily conscious desires. The main reason is that two different cultures can generate two totally different ways of satisfying a particular desire.

Desires are influenced by culture.

22. Self-realization means experiencing fully, vividly and selflessly, with full focus and absorption. It means living without the shyness of the teenager. At this point, the person is fully and fully human. It is a moment of self-realization, the moment when the self actualizes itself

There is a close relationship between state of flux and self-actualization.

23. I have learned that the novice can often see things that the expert cannot. What is needed is not to be afraid of making mistakes or appearing naive

Fear is one of the limiting beliefs that affects our personal development.

24. People are not mean, they are unhappy

For Maslow, people are born with potential, but not everyone develops it.

25. The typical desire is clearly a need of the whole person.

We all have desires in life that motivate us.

26. One’s only rival is his own potential. The only failure is not to live with your own possibilities. In this sense, any man can be a king, and therefore should be treated like a king.

When we set limits, we negatively affect our personal development.

27. We must teach people to pay attention to their own tastes. Many don’t

Self-knowledge is one of the great virtues of human beings.

28. Satisfying one need creates another

We humans want more and more. Once we hit one goal, we want another.

29. Something like human curiosity can be easily observed in higher animals

A sentence that invites free reflection.

30. We must give up, once and for all, the pretension of drawing up a detailed inventory of impulses or needs. For various reasons, such an inventory is theoretically unconscious

After all, needs come from within.

31. If I was thrown from a plane into an ocean and told that the nearest land is thousands of miles away, I would still swim. And he would despise what he surrendered to

A quote that expresses the thought of Abraham Maslow.

32. The ability to be in the moment is a major component of mental health.

now teaching to live present is part of some third generation therapies.

33. Self-realization is an ongoing process. It means making all of the many decisions one by one about whether to lie or be honest, whether to steal or not at any given time, and it means making each of those decisions as a growth option. It’s a movement towards self-actualization

Maslow believes that self-actualization depends on ourselves. It is we who must fight to obtain it.

34. In reality, self-fulfilling people, those who have reached a high level of maturity, health and self-satisfaction, have so much to teach us that sometimes they almost seem to belong to a different species of life. Human being.

Not everyone is able to overcome their limiting beliefs and move towards self-actualization.

35. We would never want to compose music or create mathematical systems, or decorate our homes, or be well dressed, if our stomachs were empty all the time, or if we were continually dying of thirst.

For Maslow, the phases must be overcome one by one. We can’t think of self-actualization if we haven’t been able to meet our basic needs.

36. In short, the musician must play, the painter must paint and the poet must write if he wants to live in peace with himself.

Each of us has a path to follow in order to achieve self-actualization.

37. The independence of the environment allows relative stability in the face of hard blow, deprivation, sticks, frustrations, etc. These people can maintain a relative serenity in the midst of circumstances that could lead others to suicide. They are also described as “self-sufficient”.

It is not easy to get what we want in life. We must move forward even in difficult times.

38. Children do not need to be taught to be curious

People by nature are explorers.

39. If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat every problem as if it were a nail.

This phrase refers to the mental flexibility to solve problems and adapt to the environment.

40. The most important issues of the greatest and best people in the history of mankind should be addressed and explained

In Maslow’s book a multitude of characters appear which he uses as examples of successful people.

41. If all the needs are not met and the body is therefore dominated by physiological needs, the remaining needs may simply be non-existent or be shifted downward.

The preference is always to satisfy lower order needs.

42. If you only have one hammer, you tend to see all problems as a wrench.

It is more difficult to adapt to the environment with an inflexible mind.

43. We must immediately ensure that human motivation seldom materializes in behavior, if not in relation to a situation and people.

Motivation is a very present psychological variable in our personal development.

44. What needs to change in a person is self-awareness

Self-confidence is one of the best virtues to achieve what we desire.

45. We fear to the best of our ability. In general, it scares us to become what we see in our best times, in the most perfect conditions and with the greatest courage.

Another concept that derives from Maslow’s pyramid theory is the Jonas complex.

46. ​​There are people who are afraid to bet on themselves

Some people have ways of thinking that limit them when it comes to personal growth.

47. You will advance towards growth or you will fall back towards security

Living in the comfort zone does not allow you to fully develop yourself.

48. The point is, people are good. Give people affection and security and they will give affectivity and have confidence in their feelings and behaviors

For Maslow, people are born good, but society corrupts them.

49. When people appear to be anything but good and decent, it is only because they are responding to stress or the deprivation of needs such as security, love and self-esteem.

People are born good, but circumstances make them good or bad

50. As income increases, people want and actively strive to achieve things that they would never have dreamed of a few years ago.

When people cover the need for security, they start to think about other needs.

51. What a man can be, he must be. We call it the need for self-actualization

Maslow, with clear reference to the needs of the highest level

52. If you plan to be a little less than you are capable of, you will probably be miserable every day of your life.

True happiness is only achieved by meeting the needs of self-actualization.

53. It is not normal to know what we want. It’s a strange and difficult psychological realization

Knowing what we want takes a lot of effort, because it takes time to think –

54. Any worthwhile theory of motivation must deal with the superior capacities of the strong and healthy person, as well as the defensive maneuvers of paralyzed minds.

Maslow is recognized as one of the great motivational theorists.

55. Studies of mentally healthy people indicate that, as a defining characteristic, they are drawn to the mysterious, the unknown, the chaotic, the disorganized and the unexplained.

With his research, Maslow tried to extract the strengths of successful people.

56. Psychopathological effects are likely to be true when basic needs are frustrated

Maslow believes that psychopathologies are associated with the satisfaction of needs.

57. The personality of the so-called psychopath is another example of the permanent loss of love needs. One way to understand this personality dysfunction is that people who did not have love in the first few months of life simply lost this desire forever, as well as the ability to give and receive affection. .

He also believed that much of who we are is determined by the beliefs we have acquired in childhood.

58. The need to know and understand is perceived in infancy and later childhood, perhaps even more strongly than in adulthood.

The first steps are the most important for our development.

59. A good society is a society in which virtue is rewarded

Unfortunately, society does not always give us back everything we give it.

60. I wanted to show that human beings are capable of something more transcendent than war, prejudice and hatred. I wanted science to take into account all the problems that the laity have dealt with: religion, poetry, values, philosophy, art. I continued with them trying to understand old people, the best specimens of humanity I could find

Maslow tried to find the relationship between successful people in this life.

61. Human beings need a framework of values ​​and a philosophy of life

Existentialism greatly influenced Maslow’s humanist philosophy, as this sentence shows.

62. The best way to analyze a current problem is to give it your all, study its nature and find the answer to the problem in the problem itself.

To overcome the challenges, you must first understand.

63. Most people experience both tragedy and pleasure in varying proportions, and any philosophy which leaves out one of the two cannot be considered complete.

So-called “negative emotions” are also a part of life.

64. Quitting smoking can be a great test of your own personality

Something as simple as quitting an unhealthy habit is a step towards personal development.

65. The ability to be in the present moment is the main component of mental well-being.

This idea of ​​being in the here and now is common to many other humanistic approaches.

66. In a way, each person is their own project

One of Maslow’s quotes in which he talks about the idea of ​​personal development empowered by oneself.

67. The best fate is to receive payment for doing what we are passionate about

Living doing what we love is a luxury.

68. One of the goals of education must be to teach that life is good

Education should not be just teaching.

69. opting for the option of growth instead of fear twelve times a day is to move twelve times a day towards self-realization

A metaphorical way of talking about personal growth.

70. The only happy people I know are the ones who work well on something they think is important.

Once again, Maslow talks about the union of work and pleasure.

71. Everything in life is education, and everyone is both teacher and student

Life is constant progress without ever stopping.

72. Creativity is a characteristic given to all of us at birth

Maslow talks about the innate character he attributed to this mental capacity.

73. What it takes to change a person is to change their idea of ​​themselves.

Our self-image has a lot of power.

74. What is life for? Life is for you

A simple and beautiful sentence on the meaning of life.

75. We are what we do and we do what we are

For Maslow, there is no separation between theory and practice in his personality.

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