Larry Mullins

March 6, 2010

Beyond the cults of self-improvement

Abraham Maslow has been unjustly blamed by some for fostering a “me generation” of ego-centered narcissism. Reasonable examination of Maslow’s ideas will show little correlation to the fads of “self-development” that are centered around ego-embellishment. These cults seem to form around gurus, or ultra-energetic motivators who leap upon a stage and assure their adoring flock that they, too, can be “great.” It is professed that if one can only become fearless enough, free enough, brilliant enough, and can visualize success vividly enough, one can find happiness. The facts of life do not support this notion.
The failure of the “ME” philosophy has now become as obvious as the insolvency of the Freudian “ethic.” Yet, in the face of our disillusioning role models, unhappy celebrities, and the continuous unraveling of the lives of rich and famous personalities, many aggressive would-be “achievers” persevere in worshiping the gods of power, narcissism, and fame — and to “keep score” with money and material possessions.
The new and everlasting philosophy of noble values, what Maslow called Being values or Metavalues, is different. It embraces full use of your powers along the lines of Integrity, Caring and Excellence. It is based upon the classic triad of values, Truth, Goodness and Beauty. In The MetaValues Breakthrough, I describe how Truth in action is observed as Integrity, Goodness in action as Caring, and Beauty in action as Excellence. Self-actualizers become conscious and passionate channels for these supreme values.

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