Get Your Needs Met

Many of you are probably familiar with Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid. Maslow’s theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before an individual will desire or be motivated to move toward the secondary or higher level needs.

However, he also noted that the order in which these needs are fulfilled does not always follow this standard progression. For example, he explains that for some individuals, the need for self-respect or esteem is more important than the need for belonging. For others, the need for artistic expression may supersede even the most basic needs.

Additionally, Maslow acknowledges that many different levels of motivation are likely to be occurring in an individual simultaneously. The bottom line is that by identifying and meeting our needs, we can increase the chances of experiencing the highest levels of who we are, along with the highest levels of joy, appreciation, and love in our life.

So, let’s briefly review these relatively self-explanatory needs, and also observe the characteristics of a self-actualized person.

1. Biological and Physiological – These needs are the requirements for human survival, and if not met, the human body simply cannot continue to function. Examples are food, water, breathing etc.

2. Safety – Once the physical needs have been reasonably satisfied; the individual’s safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. Safety needs center around protection, laws, stability, etc.

3. Belongingness and Love – As soon as physiological and safety needs have been fulfilled; the third layer of human needs involve feelings of belongingness. This would comprise the forming and maintaining of emotionally significant relationships with others.

4. Esteem – After the first three needs have been satisfied, esteem needs becomes increasingly important. These include the need for personal worth, social recognition, and accomplishment.

5. Self-Actualization – This is the highest level of needs and refers to the desire people have to achieve their full potential; seeking self-fulfillment, personal growth and peak experiences.

Maslow identified some of the key characteristics of self-actualized people to use as our guide:

Acceptance and Realism: They have realistic perceptions of themselves, others and the world around them.

Problem-centering: They are concerned with solving problems.  These people are often motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.

Spontaneity: They are spontaneous in their internal thoughts and outward behavior. While they can conform to rules and social expectations, they also tend to be open and unconventional.

Autonomy and Solitude: They have the need for independence and privacy. While they enjoy the company of others, these individuals need time to focus on developing their own individual potential.

Continued Freshness of Appreciation: They tend to view the world with a continual sense of appreciation, wonder and awe. Even simple experiences continue to be a source of inspiration and pleasure.

Peak Experiences: They often have peak experiences, or moments of intense joy, wonder, awe and ecstasy. After these experiences, people feel inspired, strengthened, renewed or transformed.

Action Step:

Review and fulfill the hierarchy of needs above, in order to fully experience the characteristics of a self-actualized person.

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10 thoughts on “Get Your Needs Met

  1. Hi. Just wanted to thank you for liking my recent post. Always nice to “meet” new readers. Perhaps you will find other posts of interest which might inspire or assist you in your own life’s journey. And a special thanks for bringing me here to your blog. We seem to find resonance in the same ideas and concepts, and I look forward to exploring further here as well. BTW, I love the clean, calming elegant look of your blog.
    with love light and JOY

    • Wow! What beautiful and heartfelt comments, thank you very much. Your warm compliments are deeply appreciated. It is a pleasure meeting you. I look forward to visiting and sharing more as we go forward. Blessings, Cathie

  2. Hi,
    This is just to let you know that I have nominated you for the beautiful blogger award. If you chose to participate, (I understand completely if you do not wish to), please pick the award and rules from here: http://wp.me/p2v1s2-ph
    Best of Luck!
    Daniela

  3. I was JUST talking about this with my bf– only, I couldn’t remember what it was called and it bothered me all night trying to remember… thank you! More specifically, however, it’s nice to see this list in black & white and to internalize what needs have or have not been met 🙂

    • How great to read your comments! What amazing timing, that you were just discussing this subject and then it shows up here. 🙂 I love when these ‘coincidences’ happen. So happy you found the list to be a helpful guide for assessing your needs status. Thank you for all the wonderful sharing!

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