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Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization

Unconventional Bookclub with Andrea Seydel-Book Doula


A bold reimagining of Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs- Scott Barry Kaufman discovered Maslow's unfinished theory of transcendence. Kaufman picks up where Maslow left off.

He integrates these ideas with the latest research on attachment, connection, creativity, love, purpose and other building blocks of a life well lived.

****Kaufman's new hierarchy of needs provides a roadmap for finding purpose and fulfillment--not by striving for money, success, or "happiness," but by becoming the best version of ourselves, or what Maslow called self-actualization.****

Go Beyond the Hierarchy of needs

Scott takes us through a new way to look at transcending our nature and going beyond our potential to fully actualize our life.


While self-actualization is often thought of as a purely individual pursuit, Maslow believed that the full realization of potential requires a merging between self and the world.

We don't have to choose either self-development or self-sacrifice, but at the highest level of human potential we show a deep integration of both.

***Transcend reveals this level of human potential that connects us not only to our highest creative potential, but also to one another.

This book is a manual for self-analysis and nurtures a deeper connection not only with our highest potential but also with the rest of humanity. *****


The New Hierarchy of Needs

Security Needs:


The need for safety, and its accompanying needs for stability, certainty, predictability, coherence, continuity, and trust in the environment, is the base upon which all the others are fulfilled.


The need for connection actually consists of two sub-needs: (a) The need to belong, to be liked, to be accepted, and (b) The need for intimacy, for mutuality, for relatedness.

No human being is exempt from the dire consequences of loneliness, and no other basic human need satisfaction can substitute for a deep connection—not money, not fame, not power, not popularity,

In cultures that foster face-to-face interactions, people tend to be highly satisfied and live long lives.


The most important attitude we have may be the attitude we have toward ourselves. Self-esteem is one of the strongest correlates of life satisfaction and low self-esteem is one of the biggest risk factors for depression.

The latest research suggests that a healthy self-esteem is an outcome of genuine accomplishment and intimate connection with others, and of a sense of growing and developing as a whole person.

Two distinct faces of healthy self-esteem: self-worth and mastery. Are you a fundamentally good person with social value in this world? Are you an intentional being who can bring about your desired goals by exercising your will? Mastery-involves evaluation of your overall sense of agency.

Growth Needs:


Get energized through the possibility of discovering new information and extracting meaning and growth from their experiences.

Upside of adversity: when structure of the self is shaken-best position to pursue new opportunities. Cognitive exploration—which can be defined as a general curiosity about information. View everything as growth. Exploration is about an openness to experience. Creative self-actualizers are true cognitive explorers.

These seven areas of growth have been reported to spring from adversity: 1) Greater appreciation of life; 2) Greater appreciation and strengthening of close relationships; 3) Increased compassion and altruism; 4) The identification of new possibilities or a purpose in life; 5) Greater awareness and utilization of personal strengths; 6) Enhanced spiritual development; 7) Creative growth


To have the capacity to give love to those whom we don’t even have direct contact with, or feel a personal connection to, is a major pathway to a life of greater health, vitality, meaning, and growth as a whole person, not to mention a way of feeling more secure.

Quiet Ego- The quiet-ego approach focuses on balancing interests of the self and of others and cultivating growth of the self and of others. The volume of the ego is turned down so that it might listen to others as well as the self in an effort to approach life more humanely and compassionately. arrive at a less defensive and more integrative stance toward the self and others, Self actualizing is not about achieving- it's BEING LOVE (not DOING LOVE) transcend the ego-

Healthy authenticity- involves understanding, accepting, and taking responsibility for your whole self as a route to personal growth and meaningful relationships. Ongoing process of discovery, self-consciousness, and responsibility taking

Healthy Selfishness- cultural taboo has had the unfortunate consequence of making people feel guilty for showing themselves healthy self-love and has even caused people to become ashamed of experiencing pleasure, health, and personal growth. Great respect for the other and great respect for oneself.


The need for purpose can be defined as the need for an overarching aspiration that energizes one’s efforts and provides a central source of meaning and significance in one’s life. Those who were most self-actualized pursued their calling, not happiness

Strength & Personality- In trying to figure out the deeper aspects of yourself that are the best within you (i.e., your best selves), it might be helpful to assess your ‘signature strengths,’ or the particular aspects of your personality that you yearn to use, that enable authentic expression, and that energize you and give you a sense of vitality.

Self Actualizing People- They are working at something which fate has called them to somehow and which they work at and which they love, so that the work-joy dichotomy in them disappears. If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life.

Happiness is a byproduct ---those who see a greater meaning in their lives are able to ‘transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement.’“

Healthy Transcendence:

Healthy transcendence is an emergent phenomenon resulting from the harmonious integration of one’s whole self in the service of cultivating the good society.... ******In a nutshell: healthy transcendence involves harnessing all that you are in the service of realizing the best version of yourself so you can help raise the bar for the whole of humanity.*********

Metamotivations - These metamotivations include a devotion to a calling outside oneself, as well as a commitment to the ultimate values, or the B-values, the values of Being. Maslow’s list of B-values includes truth, goodness, beauty, justice, meaningfulness, playfulness, aliveness, uniqueness, excellence, simplicity, elegance, and wholeness.

Appreciating Basic Life- the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s back yard. The most fortunate are those who have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy. Most frequent trigger-- Natural Scenery great skill, encounter with God, great virtue, building or monument, powerful leader, grand theory or idea, music, art, epiphany. Child birth.

Peak Experiences- Peak Experiences are child birth, sunsets, overcoming a great challenge, Insights, new Ideas trigger Peak Experiences. Triggers of Peak Experiences Profound Moments of transcendence help open us up... The are the most memorable experiences of our lives: positive and negative. IMPACTS AND TOUCHES US.any experience that comes close to perfection.

Plateau experiences- are more enduring and cognitive and involve seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Most important... is Plateau Experiences-- Regular through out the day.... Sustainably mens of wonder, gratitude and awe for things in your moment to moment experience. Moments of pure being-- state. (workouts, conversation, working on something, reading, In tune with another person) Not inhibited by fears and anxiety --- Admire for what it is.. Experience wonder. The plateau state of consciousness ‘becomes a witnessing, an appreciating and can be deliberately sought.

Spirit of the book: As humans beings we are not just passengers we are the captain of the ship.

****** Actionable Exercises*******: Experience your life from a historian perspective...From a historians perspective experience your life. Best time in human history to live. Put things in perspective. Best possible self. Three good things. Acts of kindness. Pleasure vs. Philanthropy Experiment. Create a positive portfolio. Embrace the dark side. Choose a mindfulness meditation. Unplug challenge. VIA inventory. Hone your talent. Facing fears. Grow together cultivate secure relationships. Active constructive responding. Foster high quality connections. Practice ABC's. Be Curious. Test the waters; expand your comfort zone. Post traumatic growth. Practice forgiveness. Treat yourself like you would your best friend. Develop a personal meaning oath. Create a meaningful music library. Write a gratitude letter. Create a flow experience. Practice savouring. Create an awe experience. What is your Ikigai? Japanese concept of meaning/reason for being.

More Takeaway

Moments of Pure Being

What are some triggers for peak experiences for you? What are some sources of plateau experiences Then what is the theme in your peak/plateau experiences ? How can you make more of these experiences and make the moments last?

CONSIDER: To increase moments of Pure Being. Adopt a newness/ freshness- the beginners mindset take more of it in. New novel experience opens your brain more. Adopt exploration- a psychological flexibility. Add novelty and intensity. Get outside of yourself and help others. Maximize your existence on a day to day basis (even a smile). The good human beings notebook-understand human potential. Look at the Growing tip of Humanity (like a tree). Living in the Realm Pure Being: Embrace your past, embrace yourself, fully... How would this situation look to child? Look at yourself as if you were your friend. Admiration. See examples around you of people you admire.

Full Humanness

Becoming fully human is about living a full existence, not one that is continually happy. Being well is not always about feeling good; it also involves continually incorporating more meaning, engagement, and growth in one’s life.

When the whole person is well-integrated, all of their basic needs are not merely met but work together to facilitate growth toward realizing their highest goals and values.

LET'S CONNECT:  Live Life Happy with Andrea Seydel 


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