Abraham Maslow quotes

Abraham Maslow

1908 – 1970



What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.

The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.

But behavior in the human being is sometimes a defense, a way of concealing motives and thoughts, as language can be a way of hiding your thoughts and preventing communication.

The fact is that people are good, Give people affection and security, and they will give affection and be secure in their feelings and their behavior.

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.

What a man can be, he must be. This need we call self-actualization.

All the evidence that we have indicates that it is reasonable to assume in practically every human being, and certainly in almost every newborn baby, that there is an active will toward health, an impulse towards growth, or towards the actualization.

We fear to know the fearsome and unsavory aspects of ourselves, but we fear even more to know the godlike in ourselves.

We may define therapy as a search for value.

If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was a thousand miles away, I’d still swim. And I’d despise the one who gave up.

A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.

Dispassionate objectivity is itself a passion, for the real and for the truth.

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.

If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.

If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.

Classic economic theory, based as it is on an inadequate theory of human motivation, could be revolutionized by accepting the reality of higher human needs, including the impulse to self actualization and the love for the highest values.

I was awfully curious to find out why I didn’t go insane.



Motivation and Personality (1954)
Religions, Values and Peak-experiences (1964)
Eupsychian Management (1965)
The Psychology of Science: A Reconnaissance (1966)
Toward a Psychology of Being, (1968)
The Farther Reaches of Human Nature (1971)