Human Potential

Human potential describes the ability of us, as humans, to improve ourselves to become a not-yet-realized state of whatever we can imagine for ourselves and our societies. Human potential is usually thought of on a global or species-wide scale, though each community may have different views of what our limits may look like. However, we can only approach human potential through individual action and dedication, pushing ourselves to test against our physical, biological, and mental limits, seeing what are true limitations and what are just self-limiting beliefs or restrictions that can be worked around with ingenuity and determination. Nurturing curiosity—an open mind with self-reflection—leads to the attention, study, and practice required to realize the vision we set for ourselves.

In Murphy's Kingdom

Since the 1960s, the Esalen Institute has been at the forefront of the human potential movement. Now cofounder Michael Murphy, an ardent golfer and former frat boy, is reaching a new generation with his books on spirituality.

What Is the Human Potential Movement?

The Human Potential Movement peaked in the 1960s and 1970s. Read about it from someone who was there.

The Esalen Institute and the Human Potential Movement Turn 50

In 1962, on a stunning stretch of land bordering the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur, California, two Stanford graduates named Michael Murphy and Dick Price founded a small retreat and workshop center called The Esalen Institute, otherwise known simply as Esalen.

The Gifts of a Mythic Life

Myth is not a no thing, an insubstantial conceptual will-o'-the-wisp. It is coded into our cells and waters the seas of the unconscious. It dwells in our little finger and plays along the spine as well as the spirit.

Wim Hof: The Man and the Method

Your breathing rate and pattern is a process within the autonomic nervous system that you can control to some extent to achieve different results.

Can Breathing Like Wim Hof Make Us Superhuman?

Wim Hof has run marathons barefoot and shirtless above the Arctic Circle, dove under the ice at the North Pole and languished in ice baths for north of 90 minutes—all feats that he attributes to a special kind of breathing practice.

I Tried the Wim Hof Method and These Are My Honest Thoughts

The Wim Hof Method comprises three components: breathing exercises, training your mindset and concentration, and gradual exposure to the cold. For my trial, I focused mainly on the breathing exercises (though did dabble with the cold exposure).