In a Los Angeles Times interview Tuesday, Alicia keys exemplified self-actualization as a wife, mother and newly defined “queen of soul.” “I think it’s mostly just stepping into your womanhood,” she said.
The often disruptive balancing act in the dichotomy of public and private personas has been the trump of many a diva, though Keys seems to have struck an awesome balance. Keys’ new album, “Girl on Fire,” hit stores Wednesday and is her most revealing to date. “Every album has been personal and of the moment,” Keys said. “I think this album is the most personal so far because I have stepped into a more comfortable space where I’m able to be open and clear of what I want to say and how to say it. In that way, it’s deeper. But it’s still the same energy I’ve given.”
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a psychological theory proposed in his 1943 paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation.” According to the theory, self-actualization is the highest level of functioning that a human being can achieve after basic needs are satisfied. It is the innate need that dwells in every person to develop his or her full potential. It requires the overcoming of one’s personal obstacles.
Maslow’s theory was expanded in the 1970’s and again in the 1990’s. The most recent expansion includes 8 levels, an extension of the original 5. Cognitive needs (knowledge, meaning, etc.), aesthetic needs (appreciation and quest search for beauty, balance, form, etc.), and transcendence needs (helping others to achieve self-actualization) were added to the foundation.
If you are striving for self-actualization, Maslow would recommend the following behavior leading to self-actualization:
- Experiencing life like a child, with full absorption and concentration;
- Trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths;
- Listening to your own feelings in evaluating experiences instead of the voice of tradition, authority or the majority;
- Avoiding pretense (‘game playing’) and being honest;
- Being prepared to be unpopular if your views do not coincide with those of the majority;
- Taking responsibility and working hard;
- Trying to identify your defenses and having the courage to give them up.
Quotes from Alicia Keys:
Since self-actualization is one of the most difficult levels to realize, here are some thoughts from the mind of someone who has achieved it and is living the benefits.
“I always want to stay focused on who I am, even as I’m discovering who I am.”
“I have big everything on the bottom but I love my legs. You’ve got to love what’s yours.”
“I love my heritage! I have my mother who is an Irish-Italian, and my father who is African, so I have the taste buds of an Italian and the spice of an African.”
“I love my own music.”
“Sometimes I’ve gotten photographs back and people have literally shaven off pieces of me, and I tell them to put it back.”
Alicia Keys reminds us again that as Whitney Houston sang so memorably, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”
Brainy Quote. “Alicia Keys Quotes.” Retrieved from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/alicia_keys_2.html 28 Nov. 2012
McLeod, S. A. (2007). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html 28 Nov. 2012
Kennedy, Gerrick D. (2012). A brand new Alicia Keys on ‘Girl on Fire’. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-alicia-keys-20121128,0,6552547.story