When you consistently move in the direction of growth, feelings of happiness and life satisfaction will come along for the ride.
When the conversation turns to ephemeral topics like self-actualization, rational eyes tend to roll. But transcendence isn’t something reserved for the spiritually inclined. In fact, new science has emerged, revealing fascinating, evidence-based insights for realizing your full potential and living your most creative, fulfilled, and connected life.
Today we journey this terrain under the sagacious gaze of Scott Barry Kaufman, a pioneer in the field of human potential psychology.
A cognitive scientist and humanistic psychologist, Scott has taught at Columbia University, Yale, NYU, the University of Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. He received his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Yale, an MPhil in experimental psychology from the University of Cambridge, and a B.S. in psychology and human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon.
He hosts the #1 psychology podcast in the world—The Psychology Podcast—and in 2015 was named by Business Insider as one of “50 groundbreaking scientists who are changing the way we see the world.”
Dr. Kaufman’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Scientific American, Psychology Today, and Harvard Business Review, and he is the author and editor of 9 books, the latest of which—and a focal point for today’s discussion, is entitled Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization, wherein he presents a new hierarchy of human needs for the 21st century, one that allows for the fulfillment of individual potential as well as the actualization of transcendent purpose and peak experiences.
“Growth is a result of sustained discipline, not a static disposition.”
– SCOTT BARRY KAUFMAN
This is an important and impactful conversation that covers quite a bit of diverse ground.
We discuss Scott’s extrapolation of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—what it means to engage a growth trajectory, self-actualize, and live a transcendent life.
We talk in detail about the importance of self-worth, connection, purpose, and peak experiences.
We cover the malleability (or lack thereof) of personality and the problematic nature of defining authenticity.
We also we tap a familiar vein of this podcast, dissecting the importance of reimagining education, redefining late bloomers.
In addition, Scott explains the many ways to model healthy masculinity.
Finally, we break down the psychology that is driving so-called heterodox gurus and the various culture war battles aimed at dividing us.
I found Scott to be delightfully engaging, frank, vulnerable, and of course quite wise. My hope is that his message inspires you to think more broadly about happiness, empowers you to embrace diverse experiences, and above all, helps turn the wheel of your life in the direction of self-actualization.
Peace + Plants,
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- Connect with Scott: Website | Twitter | Instagram
- Podcast: The Psychology Podcast
- Book: Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization
- Website: Center For The Science Of Human Potential
- Website: Centre for Wellbeing Science
- Amazon: Books By Scott Barry Kaufman
- Insider: 50 groundbreaking scientists who are changing the way we see the world
- SBK: Characteristics of Self-Actualization
- Behavioral Scientist: Self-actualizing in the 21st Century: A Q&A with Scott Barry Kaufman
- Psychology Today: Confessions of a Late Bloomer
- The Atlantic: Stories By Scott Barry Kaufman
- The Atlantic: What Collective Narcissism Does to Society
- Psychology Today: Articles By Scott Barry Kaufman
- Scientific American: How to Restore America’s Humanity
- Scientific American: Authenticity under fire
- Scientific American: The Science of Spiritual Narcissism
- Scientific American: One Skeptical Scientist’s Mindfulness Journey
- Scientific American: Beautiful Minds: The Next Generation
- Scientific American: What Does It Mean to Be Self-Actualized in the 21st Century?
- Scientific American: On the Other Side of That Pandemic Wall
- Scientific American: One Skeptical Scientist’s Mindfulness Journey
- Feed Spot: Best 100 Psychology Podcasts
- Harvard Business Review: Articles By Scott Barry Kaufman
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