Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization

by: Scott Barry Kaufman (0)

A bold reimagining of Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs--and new insights for realizing your full potential and living your most creative, fulfilled, and connected life.

When psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman first discovered Maslow's unfinished theory of transcendence, sprinkled throughout a cache of unpublished journals, lectures, and essays, he felt a deep resonance with his own work and life. In this groundbreaking book, Kaufman picks up where Maslow left off, unraveling the mysteries of his unfinished theory, and integrating 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. 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.

With never-before-published insights and new research findings, along with exercises and opportunities to gain insight into your own unique personality, this empowering book is a manual for self-analysis and nurturing a deeper connection not only with our highest potential but also with the rest of humanity.

The Reviews

The media could not be loaded.  By Graciela Livas and Tabitha MolettMore than a self-help book, Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization is an invitation to explore an inspiring new take on Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman engages readers in an enticing conversation, urging them to discover their most authentic self and embrace it with full force: “If you truly wish to self-actualize — and even transcend — in your own style, driven by the desire for growth, exploration, purpose, creativity, and love for all of humanity, then keep reading ...” he writes.Kaufman proposes a reconceptualization of the model, interweaving personal narratives, historical accounts, ethnographic studies, cognitive neuroscience research, practical self-evaluation scales, and humanistic psychology to challenge traditional understandings of the pyramid-style hierarchy. Dr. Kaufman points out, “Maslow emphasized that we are always in a state of becoming and that one’s ‘inner core’ consists merely of ‘potentialities, not final actualizations’ that are ‘weak, subtle, and delicate, very easily drowned out by learning, by cultural expectations, by fear, by disapproval, etc.,’ and which can all too easily become forgotten, neglected, unused, overlooked, unverbalized, or suppressed. Maslow made it clear that human maturation is an ongoing process and that growth is ‘not a sudden, saltatory phenomenon’ but is often two steps forward and one step back.”In spite of the cerebral subject matter, Kaufman’s winsome style gives his narrative the quality of a walk on the beach with a friend. He smoothly mingles intricate and complex principles of humanistic psychology with his takes on modern scientific research findings and other related fields. He explores the role that fear and anxiety have on personal health, learning, and growth, challenging the reader to examine their own attachments, patterns, and mindsets as they strive to become the best versions of themselves.The author meets readers where they are, providing self-evaluation measures that enable them to identify their current position within this new dynamic hierarchy of needs. “I believe in the fundamental capacity of humans for growth. ... .I believe that this book can help you grow, in your own style, and in such a way that allows you to show the universe that you really existed, and benefited others, while you were here.”Kaufman’s guidance helps readers embark on their own unique voyages on the sea of life, one that goes beyond self-actualization and ventures into transcendence, all the while reminding us that “we should recognize our common humanity” in order to increase our life satisfaction. In other words, by consistently improving ourselves and positively contributing to society, we become more selfless as individuals and more interconnected as a collective human race.Presented as a road map for personal fulfillment, the model uses the metaphor of a sailboat — a triangle atop a half-circle — to highlight the existence of two distinct categories of needs, those dealing with “security” and those pertaining to “growth.” This “fundamentally human” approach enables an invigorating exploration into healthy transcendence and integration of one’s entire being, concluding with practical and accessible principles and resources, such as “Theory Z,” which imparts an inspiring vision of human potential. Transcend is for everyone who is interested in opening their sails and exploring life’s possibilities through self-fulfilment and connection to others.

I highly recommend this book. Transcend is a labor of love that shares wisdom, not just information. Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman encourages us to embrace the journey towards transcendence and creativity, and more importantly, he provides context and practical advice to people who want to take that journey. Dr. Kaufman is leading a counterculture of inspiration during a time in which the marketplace rewards incitement. This book turns abstract humanistic values and ideals into a thoughtful lesson plan. Transcend, along with Dr. Kaufman's podcast and other writings, is a source of incredibly helpful reading recommendations, which can be a blessing or a curse for the insatiably curious.Dr. Kaufman is at the forefront of exploring and illustrating the value of embracing and integrating neurodiversity in education and society. Towards the end of a career in executive management, I tried to emulate mentors who nurtured both technical competence and general self-actualization. As an inexperienced leader, I wanted to develop people into the Luisa character described in this book. Eventually, I came to see that people were transcending on their own terms, even if it did not look like a certain ideal. A wise man once said, “students who demonstrate a very specific manifestation of intelligence flourish, while those who deviate tend to fall between the cracks.” I’m wondering if the same can be said about how we frame education on the subject of transcendence.

I almost didn't purchase this book. I wasn't sure I wanted to dissect the Maslow pyramid anymore in-depth than what I have learned through education. Damn...I couldn't have been farther from the truth about what this book is.Maslow's search for transcendence is a journey I have been on my entire life. The extend beyond the borders of this skin, this culture, these human restraints to see the actual universe as it is. To become a version of me that adds value to everything surrounding me. This book is a key that unlocks another door to that reality. Don't pass this one up.Early Riser 71

When positive psychology was founded, humanistic psychology was ignored due to its lack of empirical evidence. Scott Barry Kaufmann, with his incredibly broad and deep expertise, addresses that by discussing contemporary research on issues raised by Maslow and others, e.g., safety, connection, self-esteem, etc. He has single-handedly revived humanistic psychology by giving it empirical, prompting one reviewer to aptly call his approach "Maslow 2.0." (Spoiler alert: Maslow did not create the triangular "Hierarchy of Needs" that you probably ascribe to him.)I first listened to author Scott Barry Kaufman read the Audible version--and at the end was so inspired that I bought a hard copy to review the many nuggets, from his sailboat metaphor to questionnaires to growth exercises. Transcend is so rich and beautifully written that it bears re-reading and discussion--which is what my coaching colleagues and I are doing in our book club, formed expressly to deepen our understanding of humanistic psychology and facilitate transformational changes in ourselves and our clients.As a former psych professor, I know that students take psychology hoping that it will actually address real human needs and aspirations--only to be disillusioned. If you found Psych 101 a little thin on insights for living the Good Life, read this book for science-based ideas on how to understand and develop humans.

Really catipulted me out of my disillusionment from last year. Gave me a sense of purpose in life, which is sorely needed for everyone in today's world. Probably one of the only few books I've ever read repeatedly, and yet got something new out of it. I certainly will go back to it again throughout my life, to see how much I've grown since reading it the first couple of times.

Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization
⭐ 4.7 💛 557
kindle: $3.59
paperback: $11.46
hardcover: $49.95
Buy the Book