…today’s secret…Maslow was right.
Abraham Maslow is an American psychologist most recognized for his hierarchy of human needs.
Little known is that he began his research by wanting to know how certain people who had bad backgrounds were able to thrive.
If you accept that people thrive despite their setbacks, then what happened in their past is not the issue.
The issue is what they have within them to overcome challenges.
Most decisions made on behalf of marginalized populations are made on an individual’s static factors – behavior which has already occurred.
Static factors are used a lot to predict their future behavior. Maslow disdained static measures because they don’t account for resilience, or the possibility of behavioral change.
Maslow believed people hold a certain potential inside them that they strive to release. This potential shuts down when severe external circumstances appear and turns back on when those circumstances disappear.
Christmas is a time many are confronted with life-fragments they would like to forget. Lots of mixed emotions. Uncomfortable relatives. Hard times. Weird relationships. Past failures. Embarrassments.
So, go ahead and look at their historical data. These factors can help validate certain areas.
But, don’t forget the work you are doing day-in and day-out is about maximizing a person’s potential.
Let them know that bright mosaics are made from gathered fragments. Help them negotiate their broken places. Help them appreciate the weirdness of their past.
Yes, it’s the perfect time of the year for Maslow.