Abraham Maslow's theory of Human Motivation...
We have a number of needs that can be arranged into a hierarchy, starting with a base level: What keeps us alive.
As we move up the levels, our needs deepen until the point of reaching our full potential, where we sit in a place of ‘growth’ need. A level that pushes beyond individualism, enables collective thinking, to work on behalf on society over self.
The theory is that we feel or sense the first four levels aren’t fulfilled, we long for them, & begin to feel anxious without “it". To move up the pyramid, we need to have a certain weight of needs met at each level.
Physical, air, food, sleep
Safety, home, work, structure
Connection, sex, love, friendship
Self-Esteem, feel respect by self & others
Self Actualisation, need to grow, develop, problem-solve
Working on self comes first, we get anxious, hurt, lost without doing this. We need, crave, want the first four levels to feel (our version of) complete, then our driving force shifts from self to the bigger picture.
It’s important to say, because self-actualisation sounds like where we all should be, only 2% of the population are “there”. So, if you’re reading this & thinking 'ah, shit, I’m out here fucking up another relationship', you are doing perfectly well at being human & you’re not alone.
You’re 98% not alone.
Whilst I like this diagram (& theory), as I think it simplifies a process well, helps investigate beliefs, values & goals in few written words. However, people don’t just move up, they move down (& then back up again!). There may only be 2% holding steady at the tip, but I think we pop in. The words creative, problem-solving & spontaneous are often used at the top of this diagram. I don’t believe for a second that a relationship is without spontaneity or sex without creativity, or confidence without problem-solving.
My edit. I added the arrows because, IMO, the first 1.5/2 levels are fuelling being alive. Living doesn’t come into play, until you can... play.
Relationships, romance, intimacy.
Accomplishment, hobbies, sports, travel.
A social structure, that offers you growth & accountability.
Freedom & reason.
I help people make space for play.
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