Monday, December 30, 2013

Self Actualization: Giving the Hierarchy of Needs a New Perspective

For those of you who took a high school or intro class to Psych, know of a little man named Abraham Maslow. This guy came up with a hierarchy of needs based on the idea that if one need is met then you are able to move on to the next layer of needs each getting more complex and difficult  to achieve.

Bottom layer consists of: Food, Water, Shelter, Air, Sleep
Next: Safety and Security
Third: Belonging, Love, and Love based on growth and not deficiency
Fourth: Self- respect, Self-esteem, and positive feelings as a result of admiration
Finally: Self Actualization

Bottom layer is common sense. Without any of those mentioned you would literally perish. In achieving a consistent amount of those you will start feeling secure in your sense of survival. A little more confidence and consistency you will start to feel safe.  Easy Peasy.

Now the next two are the ones that I believe are mixed up. In my opinion, that chart is telling me that I need to be loved to have self-esteem or self-respect. It is also telling me that I should base my self worth on the admiration of others. Now it is true, we are not meant to do life alone. We are a community and social species. However, I do not agree with basing how others feel about me is how I know how I should feel about myself.

How are you ever going to know how to love others if you cannot love yourself? There is no way a person can say positive things to other people and be sincere, but can't say those same things to themselves in the mirror.

One of the key things to self-actualization is self-love. First and foremost you need to know that you were wonderfully made and that you have purpose in this life. Then you have to believe it, and live it. Once you're able to love yourself, people will be able to smell it on you (a pheromone perfume if you will) and be attracted to you. You'll be able to show that love to other people which is another key ingredient to self-actualization. The ability to love your fellow man and to show it.

Have grace for each other. It is in our nature to be offensive sometimes without even knowing it. The best thing you can do is to forgive and show love even if your mind is telling your to tear them down. You will be able to do that by first learning self-respect, and self-esteem, not after learning love and how to belong.

What is the legacy you want to leave behind in this world? The real meaning of life is your own personal journey but two things are consistent; Loving yourself and loving others.