Maslow’s hierarchy of needs should be met before a person reaches the top, self actualization. If the basic needs are met then a person can focus on their potential. A person becomes self actualized when they focus on where there potential lies and not elsewhere. So, if a person has the highest potential to be a teacher then they should focus on that and not something else, say an insurance sales person. Also Maslow sees self actualization as a desire to attain rather than a driving force.
Goldstein on the other hand sees that reaching self actualization as s beings master motive. That motive being defined as the tendency to actualize as much as possible within an individuals capabilities. A person could have multiple capabilities to pursue. It is not a goal to be achieved but rather a driving force. Could Goldstein and Maslow’s views be rectified, let’s look at one more view.
Dr. Wayne Dyer sees self actualization as similar to Maslow’s view with a few added details. A self actualized person is highly functional. They are also free of others opinions. So, they aren’t worrying about the things that other people think of them. They do what they do knowing they are living tho their full potential. How does this all fit together to provide a picture of the actualized person?
An actualized person is someone who had the basic needs met and knows what their fullest potential is. They seek mastery of their fullest potential and it brings them happiness. It may or may not be the driving force but once attained they do not care about the opinions of others in how they live their lives. The next question will be pondered in the next post, what does an actualized society look like?