Author's Note: This is the "extended essay" I had to write for the IB program I'm in at school and I thought I'd share it with Whyville because it has some interesting (I think) information. Anyway, if you read it, it'll pretty much explain itself, but it is long. (The essay had to be 3000-4000 words; mine's about 3400). Most of the stuff was just my thoughts on some of the information I found and pulled my own conclusions from. Enjoy.
A musician must make music, and an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to ultimately be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This need we may 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 that one is capable of becoming.
-Abraham H. Maslow
Psychology is said to be the science of the mind or of mental states and processes. (dictionary.com) Abraham Maslow, considered the Father of Humanism, was an American psychologist best known for his creation - the Hierarchy of Human Needs. (McMahon, 1990: 124). This Hierarchy of Needs can be used to explain human behaviors and emotions associated with potential. Maslow's Hierarchy may show that fulfillment of potential is linked to a pre-fulfillment of all needs that may distract an individual from achieving self-actualization, ". . . establishing meaningful goals and a purpose in life."(McMahon: 124).