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Sunday Dec 11, 2005

The Jonah Complex

One day, Abraham Maslow, who was a professor at Brandeis University from 1951 to 1969, asked his students: “Which of you expects to achieve greatness in your chosen field?”

A class of blank stares filled the room.

After a long silence, Maslow said: “If not you—who then?”

Slowly, his students began to grasp his point, which he called the Jonah complex—the tendency in adults to doubt and even fear their own abilities.