What is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?
How does Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs relate to our everyday life, especially during economic downturn. Has the need for survival affected our self-actualization?
Maslow determined that people were motivated and inspired for different reasons depending on where they were in the life. This became an important consideration for those who were looking to motivate groups such as a workforce or a congregation. Maslow laid things out in a pyramid with the most basic needs of survival at the base of the pyramid and the most intangible of needs like self-actualization at the pinnacle. The rationale is rather simple...one does not appeal to the motivations of a person on the pinnacle level if their basic needs of food and shelter are in question. That group of people are not looking for self-actualization and accomplishment...they are hungry and cold. There are immediate levels between the two extremes and most peoples can be described on some level of the hierarchy. The need for survival will always over-shadow self-actualization even though the task of providing for our survival or those around may, in effect, be an act of self-actualization in its own way. The need to believe in one's own self as capable and able to achieve the necessities of life can be a point of inspiration and may well go a long way in describing a truly self-made man or woman. WB
I think, in the United States at least, physical needs are mostly met. But what about safety? Steady employment?
I think Americans were avoiding self-actualization long before the economic downturn. The conservative's attack on the arts and creative endeavors is stigmatizing those occupations more and more. Also, there are starting to be fights over funding. And with the entertainment engulfing us all, I think Americans are avoiding facing the reality that capitalism is not a just system and does not encourage creativity among the majority of the population.
From bottom to top: (1) Physiological, (2) safety, (3) love & belonging, (4) esteem and (5) Self - actualization
Maslow came up with a theory of motivation. His model consists of several levels physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem and self actualization. Economic problems fundamentally affects safety needs. Self actualization is focused on achieving what one is capable of becoming. Self actualization requires going beyond the basic needs. Unfortunately, many are stopped at the safety level just to supply food, security.
However there are many critics of the model. Some believe that it's not heirarchal - especially for the basic needs.
Having the right mindset in spite the economic down turn can still result in self actualization.
No one can tell you what your biological and psychological needs are. Instead take a moment to do this exercise of self discovery . read more
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