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PSYCHOLOGY OF ASPIRATION How Should I Pursue My Lifetime Goals?

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Presentation on theme: "PSYCHOLOGY OF ASPIRATION How Should I Pursue My Lifetime Goals?"— Presentation transcript:

1 PSYCHOLOGY OF ASPIRATION How Should I Pursue My Lifetime Goals?

2 PSYCHOLOGY “The Study of Human Behavior” PSYCHE - Self, Soul, Mind LOGOS - Word, Reason “ology”: theory of, study of, science of

3 Three contemporary psychologists/philosophers provide helpful understandings: Abraham Maslow Mihaly Csikszentmihayli John Rawls


5 “Human beings are motivated by a number of basic needs which are species wide, apparently unchanging, and genetic or instinctual in origin. They are intrinsic aspects of human nature.” Abraham Maslow

6 THE NEEDS HIERARCHY The human needs are arranged in a hierarchy, while not a strict one. Needs in the lower levels of the hierarchy generally must be satisfied before other needs emerge as needs.

7 PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS* Air Water Food Shelter Sleep Sex *These needs are most basic and most powerful, as they are the needs we have for human survival.

8 SAFETY NEEDS We need the security of a consistent, predictable, stable, and fair environment; both physically and psychologically

9 SOCIAL NEEDS Acceptance Belongingness Affection Love

10 “A person will hunger for affectionate relations with people in general, for a place in a group, and will strive with great intensity to achieve this goal.” “The need for love characterizes every human being born. No psychological health is possible unless a the inner nature of a person is accepted, loved and respected by others.” Abraham Maslow

11 “Unless you love someone, nothing else makes any sense.” e. e. cummings American poet

12 EGO NEEDS Self-confidence Self-esteem Self-respect This internalized validation of ones self comes from the acceptance, recognition, esteem and respect of others. And, the qualities are most stable when it is recognized that the external validation is deserved.

13 SELF ACTUALIZATION NEED Self-Fulfillment Self-Realization Self-Development Creativity

14 “What a man can be, he must be….to become more and more what one is; to become everything one is capable of becoming.” “Be all you can be.” Abraham Maslow

15 NEEDS AS LIFETIME GOALS Physiologic Needs - Health Safety and Security Love and Be Loved Self-Esteem and Esteemed by Others Realization of Full Potential as Human Being

16 ABRAHAM MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS Self Actualization Truth Goodness Beauty Aliveness Individuality Perfection Necessity Completion Justice Order Simplicity Richness Playfulness Effortlessness Self Sufficiency Meaningfulness Self Esteem Esteem by Others Loving & Belongingness Safety and Security Physiological Air, Water Food, Shelter, Sleep, Sex The External Environment Preconditions for need satisfaction Freedom, Justice, Orderliness Challenge (Stimulation) *Growth needs are all of equal importance (not hierarchical)

17 BEING NEEDS (Metamotivation) Wholeness: Integration, Centeredness Completion: Fulfillment, Finality Justice: Fairness, Lawfulness Simplicity: Structure, Essentiality Beauty: Rightness, Form Goodness: Oughtness, Rightness Uniqueness: Individuality, Novelty Playfulness: Fun, Joy Truth: Reality, Essentiality Self-Sufficiency: Autonomy, Independence


19 FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi

20 FLOW “The state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”


22 Eight Components of FLOW The goals of the activity are clear and not conflicting. One receives immediate and clear feedback during the activity. The challenges of the activity are matched with the skills of the person. A feeling of focus and concentration exists on what is being done. One is oblivious to everyday frustrations. A feeling of control over life, actions, and experiences exists. One loses a sense of self-consciousness. (ego defenses) Sense of time is transformed.

23 CSIKSZENTMIHALYI’S TENETS Happiness is a condition that must be prepared for and cultivated by a person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is about as close as any of us can come to being happy. Optimal experiences are those times when we feel in control of our actions, masters of our own fate … and when we experience a deep sense of exhilaration and deep sense of joy.

24 CSIKSZENTMIHALYI’S TENETS (continued) The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is something we can make happen. In the long run, optimal experiences are up to a sense of mastery, or sense of participation in the determination of the content of one’s life.

25 “Complexity is not only a function of intelligence, or knowledge … it includes a person’s feelings and actions as well. It involves becoming aware of and in control of one’s unique potentials, and in being able to create harmony between goals and desires, sensations and experiences. People who continue this (greater degrees of complex thinking and action) are going to have a more fulfilling and therefore happy life.” M. Csikszentmihayli The Evolving Self

26 ARISTOTELIAN PRINCIPLE “Human beings enjoy the exercise of their realized capacities (their innate or trained abilities), and this enjoyment increases the more the capacity is realized, or the greater its complexity.” John Rawls Theory of Justice


28 WHY IS THE “ARISTOTELIAN PRINCIPLE” TRUE? Our brains/minds are remarkable tools with great capacity. We get bored easily. Complex activities are more enjoyable because they satisfy the desire for variety and novelty. Complex activities leave room for ingenuity and intervention. Complex activities evoke the reaction of anticipation and surprise. Complex activities fascinate. Simple activities exclude possibility of individual style and personal expression.

29 ELEMENTS OF HAPPINESS MONEY. POWER. FAME. NO... According to research by Psychologist Kennon M. Sheldon of the University of Missouri, the things that really make one happy are: SELF ESTEEM INTIMACY WITH OTHERS SENSE OF AUTONOMY THE FEELING OF COMPETENCE

30 ELEMENTS OF HAPPINESS Why? Close relationships with others and a positive self-image are sources of joy that replenish you again and again, while the thrill that comes from buying something, such as a new car, vanishes the moment you see the next ‘item’ you want. His recommendation: “Worry less about what you have and more about who you are* * This is the theme of an excellent book by Erich mm entitled, To Have Or To Be.

31 “The truly great ethical personality would seek to realize his (her) life in the following manner: He would strive to develop himself with the utmost exertion of his powers.” Soren Kiekegaard Danish philosopher

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