Why Maslow?

I’ve done several book signings now, and have had a variety of conversations at those events, and elsewhere, where I get asked about the book title, ‘Finding Maslow.’

For those who don’t know who Maslow is, let me explain.

Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist, who was best known for his theory relating to the ‘Hierarchy of Needs,’ or ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy.’  Maslow’s theory basically was that people have to meet basic needs before achieving their full potential, and that there are multiple levels that people go through before getting to that point.  Basic needs, such as food and shelter, need to be met before the individual is concerned with social needs, for example.  Only when all of those needs are met can a person achieve ‘self-actualization’, which is the achievement of full potential.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds.svg[1]

Yes, I was a Psychology major, and yes, this is an obscure and geeky reference to include in my title.  I used it because one of the key themes in the book has to do with people identifying and reaching their potential in life.

In “Finding Maslow” there are two main characters, both of whom are lacking direction.  These two people are in different places in life and come from vastly diverse worlds so they have different challenges that they need to overcome before they can really discover who they are and what that full potential may look like for them.

The book is about Hurricane Sandy, in large part, and that event is a catalyst for these characters to discover strengths and passions within themselves that they hadn’t previously realized.

I am a big fan of Maslow, but even more importantly, I am a huge believer in people striving to reach their full potential and realize their dreams.  So that’s why I used Maslow in my title.  And it certainly has led to many interesting conversations!