Self Actualization, Flow, Happiness And Choice

1134 WordsSep 21, 20155 Pages
Self-Actualization, Flow, Happiness… and Choice “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” This quote is attributed to the philosopher Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) and leads one to ask: What exactly is happiness? It can be defined as a positive emotion, an experience of utter joy, satisfaction with one’s life and a sense of self-esteem and optimism. But there is also one more element that could be the most important: choice. Aristotle also said “Happiness depends upon ourselves…” and that is just as relevant today as it was 2400 years ago. Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) was a pioneer in the field of positive psychology and rather than studying the pathology of mental health, he chose to look in depth at what was right about his subjects’ mental health. In an effort to identify and study people that he thought were exceptional, healthy human beings, in 1943, Maslow established his theory: Hierarchy of Needs. His original construct encompassed five stages. The first stage included Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex and sleep. The second stage included Safety needs – protection from the elements, security, stability, law, order and freedom from fear. The third stage began addressing higher level Love and Belonging needs – friendship, intimacy, affection and love from work group, family, friends and romantic relationships. The fourth stage was comprised of Esteem needs –
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