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.

How to Have an Extraordinary Life

An interview with Michael Murphy, on his new book 'The Future of the Body.' On evolution of the body, what he means by human attributes, and how we begin to recognize the extraordinary.

What Is the Human Potential Movement?

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

Behavior: Human Potential: The Revolution in Feeling

To reach man's unawakened resources, the Human Potential movement focuses on the actions and interactions of individuals in a group. This 1970 article offers a time-capsule perspective on how the Human Potential movement was viewed in its early years.

Want to Be a Game Changer? Dave Asprey Knows You Can

In this interview, Dave Asprey talks about science-backed, high performance "laws" that are a virtual playbook for how to get better at life.

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.

An Unlikely Ballerina

The rise of Misty Copeland.

The Path to Self-Actualization

Psychologist Abraham Maslow ’30, MA’31, PhD’34 showed how people reach their full potential.

A Collective Human Potential Movement

The author really interested in what a popular movement would look like at the intersection of radical mental health, social justice politics, and disciplined spiritual practice.

A (Realistic) Guide to Becoming Self-Actualized

Only you can determine what self-actualization means for you, but we’ve got the info to help you get the ball rolling and make the process feel less daunting.

At Home With: Michael Murphy; Divine Reinvention

One of the first things that Michael Murphy did after he bought his Victorian house in San Rafael in Marin County, Calif., seven years ago, was to destroy the hot tub in the garden.