If you’re looking to make the most of you potential then this collection of Abraham Maslow quotes will inspire and motivate you to do so.
Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority of physiological, safety and security, love and belonging, self-esteem and culminating in self-actualization.
According to Abraham Maslow and his theory of “self-actualization”, there is no greater joy in life than fulfilling these innate human needs.
Maslow was a psychology professor at Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social Research, and Columbia University. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a “bag of symptoms”.
During his lifetime, he published written works such as Motivation and Personality (1954), and Toward a Psychology of Being (1962) and has greatly contributed to the subject that we are familiar with today.
If you’re looking for the best Abraham Maslow quotes then look no further. The quotes below will motivate you to demand more of yourself, grow and succeed.
Inspirational Abraham Maslow Quotes
1. “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” – Abraham Maslow
2. “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” – Abraham Maslow
3. “The only happy people I know are the ones who are working well at something they consider important.” – Abraham Maslow
4. “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” – Abraham Maslow
5. “We fear to know the fearsome and unsavory aspects of ourselves, but we fear even more to know the godlike in ourselves.” – Abraham Maslow
6. “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” – Abraham Maslow
7. “We crave and fear becoming truly ourselves.” – Abraham Maslow
8. “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” – Abraham Maslow
9. “The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.” – Abraham Maslow
10. “Rioting is a childish way of trying to be a man, but it takes time to rise out of the hell of hatred and frustration and accept that to be a man you don’t have to riot.” – Abraham Maslow
11. “We fear our highest possibility. We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moments.” – Abraham Maslow
12. “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.” – Abraham Maslow
13. “If you think only of evil, then you become pessimistic and hopeless like Freud. But if you think there is no evil, then you’re just one more deluded Pollyanna.” – Abraham Maslow
14. “Work is that which you dislike doing but perform for the sake of external rewards. At school, this takes the form of grades. In society, it means money, status, privilege.” – Abraham Maslow
15. “If I were a Negro, I’d be fighting, as Martin Luther King fought, for human recognition and justice. I’d rather go down with my flag flying. If you’re weak or crippled, or you can’t speak out or fight back in some way, then people don’t hesitate to treat you badly.” – Abraham Maslow
16. “The science of psychology has been far more successful on the negative than on the positive side… It has revealed to us much about man’s shortcomings, his illnesses, his sins, but little about his potentialities, his virtues, his achievable aspirations, or his psychological health.” – Abraham Maslow
17. “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.” – Abraham Maslow
18. “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.” – Abraham Maslow
19. “With a tree, all the growth takes place at the growing tips. Humanity is exactly the same. All the growth takes place in the growing tip: among that one percent of the population. It’s made up of pioneers, the beginners. That’s where the action is.” – Abraham Maslow
20. “It is as necessary for man to live in beauty rather than ugliness as it is necessary for him to have food for an aching belly or rest for a weary body.” – Abraham Maslow
21. “Marriage is a school itself. Also, having children. Becoming a father changed my whole life. It taught me as if by revelation.” – Abraham Maslow
22. “Good psychology should include all the methodological techniques, without having loyalty to one method, one idea, or one person.” – Abraham Maslow
23. “The great lesson is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that is to be found in one’s daily life.” – Abraham Maslow
24. “When people appear to be something other than good and decent, it is only because they are reacting to stress, pain, or the deprivation of basic human needs such as security, love, and self-esteem.” – Abraham Maslow
25. “Don’t worry when you are not recognized but strive to be worthy of recognition.” – Abraham Maslow
26. “Be independent of the good opinion of other people.” – Abraham Maslow
27. “The fact is that people are good if only their fundamental wishes are satisfied, their wish for affection and security. Give people affection and security, and they will be secure in their feelings and their behavior.” – Abraham Maslow
28. “I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future but only in the present can I act.” – Abraham Maslow
29. “Appreciate again and again, freshly and naively the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy, however stable these experiences may have become to others.” – Abraham Maslow
30. “One of the goals of education should be to teach that life is precious.” – Abraham Maslow
31. “All of life is education and everybody is a teacher and everybody is forever a pupil.” – Abraham Maslow
32. “Quitting smoking can be a very good test of ones character. Pass the test and you will have accomplished so much more than just get rid of one bad habit.” – Abraham Maslow
33. “The best way to view a present problem is to give it all you’ve got, to study it and its nature, to perceive within it the intrinsic interrelationships, to discover the answer to the problem within the problem itself.” – Abraham Maslow
34. “It seems that the necessary thing to do is not to fear mistakes, to plunge in, to do the best that one can, hoping to learn enough from blunders to correct them eventually.” – Abraham Maslow
35. “Creativity is a characteristic given to all human beings at birth.” – Abraham Maslow
36. “The spiritual life is part of the human essence. It is a defining characteristic of human nature, without which human nature is not fully human.” – Abraham Maslow
37. “The most beautiful fate, the most wonderful good fortune that can happen to any human being, is to be paid for doing that which he passionately loves to do.” – Abraham Maslow
38. “You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.” – Abraham Maslow
39. “A positive self-image and healthy self-esteem is based on approval, acceptance and recognition from others; but also upon actual accomplishments, achievements and success upon the realistic self-confidence which ensues.” – Abraham Maslow
40. “Every person is, in part, ‘his own project’ and makes himself.” – Abraham Maslow
41. “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, an 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…. It refers to man’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything one is capable of becoming.” – Abraham Maslow
42. “One’s only failure is failing to live up to one’s own possibilities.” – Abraham Maslow
43. “We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, callings.” – Abraham Maslow
44. “Fear of knowing is very deeply a fear of doing.” – Abraham Maslow
45. “There are no perfect human beings! Persons can be found who are good, very good indeed, in fact, great. There do in fact exist creators, seers, sages, saints, shakers, and movers… Even if they are uncommon and do not come by the dozen. And yet these very same people can at times be boring, irritating, petulant, selfish, angry, or depressed. To avoid disillusionment with human nature, we must first give up our illusions about it.” – Abraham Maslow
46. “If the essential core of the person is denied or suppressed, he gets sick sometimes in obvious ways, sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes immediately, sometimes later.” – Abraham Maslow
47. “Secrecy, censorship, dishonesty, and blocking of communication threaten all the basic needs.” – Abraham Maslow
48. “It isn’t normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement.” – Abraham Maslow
49. “Man has his future within him, dynamically alive at this present moment.” – Abraham Maslow
50. “We do what we are and we are what we do.” – Abraham Maslow
51. “One cannot choose wisely for a life unless he dares to listen to himself, his own self, at each moment of his life.” – Abraham Maslow
52. “We must understand love; we must be able to teach it, to create it, to predict it, or else the world is lost to hostility and to suspicion.” – Abraham Maslow
53. “You must want to be first-class… Meaning the best, the very best you are capable of becoming. If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life. You will be evading your own capacities, your own possibilities.” – Abraham Maslow
54. “When we free ourselves from the constraints of ordinary goals and uninformed scoffers we will find ourselves roaring off the face of the earth.” – Abraham Maslow
55. “Only the flexibly creative person can really manage the future, Only the one who can face novelty with confidence and without fear.” – Abraham Maslow
56. “No psychological health is possible unless this essential care of the person is fundamentally accepted, loved and respected by others and by himself.” – Abraham Maslow
57. “Man is a perpetually wanting animal.” – Abraham Maslow
58. “Common sense means living in the world as it is today; but creative people are people who don’t want the world as it is today but want to make another world.” – Abraham Maslow
59. “People with intelligence must use their intelligence, people with eyes must use their eyes, people with the capacity to love have the impulse to love and the need to love in order to feel healthy. Capacities clamor to be used, and cease their clamor only when they are used sufficiently. That is to say, capacities are needs, and therefore are intrinsic values as well.” – Abraham Maslow
60. “The study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy.” – Abraham Maslow
61. “The sacred is in the ordinary… It is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s own backyard… Travel may be a flight from confronting the scared — this lesson can be easily lost. To be looking elsewhere for miracles is to me a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous.” – Abraham Maslow
62. “Laugh at what you hold sacred, and still hold it sacred.” – Abraham Maslow
63. “We fear our highest possibilities. We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moments, under conditions of great courage. We enjoy and even thrill to godlike possibilities we see in ourselves in such peak moments. And yet we simultaneously shiver with weakness, awe, and fear before these very same possibilities.” – Abraham Maslow
64. “Life could be vastly improved if we could count our blessings as self-actualizing people can and do, and if we could retain their constant sense of good fortune and gratitude for it.” – Abraham Maslow
65. “Love, safety, belongingness and respect from other people are almost panaceas for the situational disturbances and even for some of the mild character disturbances.” – Abraham Maslow
66. “It is vital that people “count their blessings:” to appreciate what they possess without having to undergo its actual loss.” – Abraham Maslow
67. “The key question isn’t “What fosters creativity?” But why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might not be why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle that anybody created anything.” – Abraham Maslow
68. “In the ideal college, intrinsic education would be available to anyone who wanted it… The college would be life-long, for learning can take place all through life.” – Abraham Maslow
69. “In order for us to become truly happy, that which we can become, we must become.” – Abraham Maslow
70. “The job is, if we are willing to take it seriously, to help ourselves to be more perfectly what we are, to be more full, more actualizing, more realizing in fact, what we are in potentiality.” – Abraham Maslow
71. “I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes, or of appearing naive.” – Abraham Maslow
72. “Boys will be boys as long as there are no girls in the picture.” – Abraham Maslow
73. “A child wants some kind of undisrupted routine or rhythm. He seems to want a predictable, orderly world.” – Abraham Maslow
74. “If swindling pays, then it will not stop. You cannot have a good society unless virtue pays.” – Abraham Maslow
75. “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” – Abraham Maslow
76. “What you don’t know has power over you; knowing it brings it under your control, and makes it subject to your choice. Ignorance makes real choice impossible.” – Abraham Maslow
77. “The person who hasn’t conquered, withstood and overcome continues to feel doubtful that he could. This is true not only for external dangers; it holds also for the ability to control and to delay one’s own impulses, and therefore to be unafraid of them.” – Abraham Maslow
78. “We all have everything we need within us to create our fullest potential.” – Abraham Maslow
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