Maslow has the answers. Abraham Maslow created the Hierarchy of Needs, which he explained in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation.
You may have heard about it before. It suggests that humans need to fulfill their basic needs before moving on to greater success. If you have no food, you aren’t going to care about being a millionaire.
The pyramid above shows the levels of the hierarchy. The higher you go in the pyramid the higher you climb to a fulfilling life.
Your financial security would be level 2, the Safety Needs. Financially security means you can rely on having a place to live, health insurance, and income to pay for the resources you need. If youÂ have all of these things, but do not have family or friendships that matter to you, you areÂ on level 3. You are only surviving, not thriving.
What Level Are You On?
5 Basic Needs and the feelings associated with them:
Level 1 Physiological – Hungry, Thirsty, and Tired
Level 2 Safety – Signs of insecurity and the need to be safe.
Level 3 Love/Belonging – Loneliness and alienation
Level 4 Esteem – Inferiority, weakness, helplessness and worthlessness.
Level 5 Self Actualization – Being on edge, tense, lacking something, restless.
The higher levels are:
Level 6 The Need to Know and to Understand
Level 7 The Need for Aesthetic Appreciation (such as beauty or balance)
Level 8 The Need for Transcendence (to move beyond the ego, or help others self-actualize)
So what level do you think you are?
What level am I?
In researching Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs I kept asking myself, “What level am I on?”
It is hard to determine which level since I feel I have so many facets of growth. I could say I am on level 4 since I am looking for achievement of my goals. But part of me feels connected to level 5 since I am heavily into personal growth and sometimes feel restless. But in my need for personal growth, I see aspects of Level 6 ( the need to know and understand).
Or am I on level 8? My number one goal this year (trumping my million dollar net worth goal) is to meditate more and let go.
I looked through my goals and saw that my million dollar goal is level 4 and my spiritual goal is level 8. Do I need to be a millionaire to succeed with my spiritual goal? Or do I need to give up being a millionaire to succeed to level 8?
The more I thought about it the more I realized that my goal to be a millionaire is not only for the achievement. It is for the experiences and knowledge I will gain.
So I decided I am working on Level 6. I need to know and understand things, and becoming a millionaire and growing my business will teach me a lot.
Figuring this out was a great exercise for me, and I recommend that you try it too.
So How Do We Thrive?
Most of us already have goals. Go through your goals and figure out where they fit on the Hierarchy of Needs. This will prioritize your goals for you. If you want to be a millionaire (achievement level 4) but feel lonely or alienated (level 3), you may want to create a new goal to find more love and belonging first.
That doesn’t mean that all millionaires have love and belonging, and the only way you can become a millionaire is to have it too. It means that you will have a better life if you can fulfill your five basic needs, and stepping upÂ one level at a time is easier than trying to jump to the top.
Maslow said that one of the reasons we don’t move up the pyramid is education. He thought that our standard education restricts growth to self-actualization. He provides us with ten tips to move towards self-actualization.
- Be authentic, to be aware of our inner selves and to hear our inner-feeling voices.
- Transcend our cultural conditioning and become world citizens.
- Discover our vocation in life, our calling, fate or destiny. This is especially focused on finding the right career and the right mate.
- Know that life is precious, that there is joy to be experienced in life, and if we are open to seeing the good and joyous in all kinds of situations, it makes life worth living.
- Accept ourselves as we are and learn their inner nature. From real knowledge of aptitudes and limitations we can learn what to build upon, what potentials are really there.
- Our basic needs should be satisfied. This includes safety, belongingness, and esteem needs.
- We should refreshen consciousness, appreciate beauty and the other good things in nature and in living.
- We should know that controls are good, and complete abandon is bad. It takes control to improve the quality of life in all areas.
- We should transcend the trifling problems and grapple with the serious problems in life. These include the problems of injustice, of pain, suffering, and death.
- We must be good choosers. We must practice in making good choices.”
These tips will help us in all areas of our lives. The Hierarchy of Needs is your road map and these tips are your gas. Let’s continue our journey 😉
So what level are you on? Do you think these tips will help you climb higher?