Needs. . .
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is one of the best-known theories of motivation. Maslow’s theory states that our actions are motivated by certain physiological and psychological needs that progress from basic to complex. While some of the existing schools of thought at the time—such as psychoanalysis and behaviorism—tended to focus on problematic behaviors, Maslow was more interested in learning about what makes people happy and what they do to achieve that aim. To achieve this ultimate goal, however, a number of more basic needs must be met. This includes the need for food, safety, love, and self-esteem. There are five different levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:

The physiological needs include those that are vital to survival. Some examples of physiological needs include: Food, water and breathing.

At the second level of Maslow’s hierarchy, the needs start to get more complex. At this level, the needs for security and safety become primary. People want control and order in their lives. Some of the basic security and safety needs include: Financial security, health and wellness and safety against accidents and injury.

The social needs in Maslow’s hierarchy include love, acceptance, and belonging. At this level, the need for emotional relationships drives human behavior. At the fourth level in Maslow’s hierarchy is the need for appreciation and respect. Once the needs at the bottom three levels have been satisfied, the esteem needs begin to play a more prominent role in motivating behavior.

At the very peak of Maslow’s hierarchy are the self-actualization needs. Self-actualizing people are self-aware, concerned with personal growth, less concerned with the opinions of others, and interested in fulfilling their potential. “What a man can be, he must be,” Maslow explained, referring to the need people have to achieve their full potential as human beings.

Whether you accept Maslow’s hierarchy of needs or not, his theory shines a light on the many needs we have as human beings. And even if we don’t all place these needs in the same order, keeping them in mind when interacting with others can help make our interactions more caring and respectful.
Peace and Love, Jim
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