Modern Day Needs
Hierarchy of Needs
In 1943, Abraham Maslow published "A Theory of Human Motivation" which included, Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The basic theory is that the higher up the hierarchy your needs are met, the more motivated a person can be.
A lot has changed since 1943, the way we live, work, interact with others and of course the tools which are available to us in our daily lives. So, you might think that our daily needs would be unrecognisable in many ways too. I think we might all be surprised by how much is still relevant today, sure there's no wifi or Netflix on the list but I think the rest still stands.
Starting from the bottom, our basic needs are fundamentally the same, we need to have a roof above our heads, food in our belly and to feel safe. If one of these needs is not met, it probably doesn't matter what else we do have in our lives - we'll be pretty focused on removing ourselves from danger, finding a home or getting a hot meal.
The next section is our psychological needs - relationships with others and the start of our relationship with ourself. Do we have a sense of belonging and community? Are we fulfilled in our intimate relationships? How about our ego - do we have a sense of pride and achievement? This is likely to cover several areas of our life - social, home, work, our family and other social settings we're part of. Today, this might include social media and forums you belong to, there are lots of opportunities to be in communities, but of course its not without its challenges too.
The pinnacle of the hierarchy is 'Self-actualisation', in simpler terms that basically means reaching our full potential, having the space to be creative and feeling fulfilled. For me, it is the pinnacle of Wellbeing.
There are many different concepts of wellness and ways to measure our lives, we will talk about some of those in the coming months, but for me the simplicity of Maslows hierarchy of needs can't be beaten as a way of introducing ourselves to the big picture.
It's a great reminder that our 'Meliora' wellness journey is about so much more than yoga practice and meditation, we can't forget about all the steps that lead us there. Most of the focus on wellbeing starts at self-actualisation - connecting to ourselves, releasing our emotions and being the best version of ourselves. What we need to remember - none of that means a thing if we don't have a safe place to sleep at night and the right nutrition and hydration.
My challenge to you, work from the bottom up and think about your own needs, which are being met and which need some focus. Create some small actions that will help you on your way. In the next few weeks, we'll talk more about action planning for 'better' whatever that means to you.