Here is Maslow’s brilliant idea to motivate “You”

Maslow’s (1943, 1954) hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.

Maslow wanted to understand what motivates people. He believed that people possess a set of motivation systems unrelated to rewards or unconscious desires.

Maslow (1943) stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs, and that some needs take precedence over others. Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behaviour. Once that level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us, and so on.


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The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model includes:

1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.

2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).

4. Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.

5. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

 

‘It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled?

At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency’ (Maslow, 1943, p. 375).

 

Changes to the original five-stage model are highlighted and include a seven-stage model and a eight-stage model, both developed during the 1960’s and 1970s.

1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.

2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, etc.

3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).

4. Esteem needs – self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc.

5. Cognitive needs – knowledge and understanding, curiosity, exploration, need for meaning and predictability.

6. Aesthetic needs – appreciation and search for beauty, balance, form, etc.

7. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

8. Transcendence needs – helping others to achieve self actualization.

‘It refers to the person’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially.

The specific form that these needs will take will of course vary greatly from person to person. In one individual it may take the form of the desire to be an ideal mother, in another it may be expressed athletically, and in still another it may be expressed in painting pictures or in inventions’ (Maslow, 1943, p. 382–383).

Are you self-actualized?

Characteristics of self-actualized people

Although we are all, theoretically, capable of self-actualizing, most of us will not do so, or only to a limited degree. Maslow (1970) estimated that only two percent of people will reach the state of self actualization. He was particularly interested in the characteristics of people whom he considered to have achieved their potential as persons.

By studying 18 people he considered to be self-actualized (including Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein) Maslow (1970) identified 15 characteristics of a self-actualized person.

Characteristics of self-actualizers:

1. They perceive reality efficiently and can tolerate uncertainty;

2. Accept themselves and others for what they are;

3. Spontaneous in thought and action;

4. Problem-centered (not self-centered);

5. Unusual sense of humor;

6. Able to look at life objectively;

7. Highly creative;

8. Resistant to enculturation, but not purposely unconventional;

9. Concerned for the welfare of humanity;

10. Capable of deep appreciation of basic life-experience;

11. Establish deep satisfying interpersonal relationships with a few people;

12. Peak experiences;

13. Need for privacy;

14. Democratic attitudes;

15. Strong moral/ethical standards.

Behavior leading to self-actualization:

(a) Experiencing life like a child, with full absorption and concentration;

(b) Trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths;

(c) Listening to your own feelings in evaluating experiences instead of the voice of tradition, authority or the majority;

(d) Avoiding pretense (‘game playing’) and being honest;

(e) Being prepared to be unpopular if your views do not coincide with those of the majority;

(f) Taking responsibility and working hard;

(g) Trying to identify your defenses and having the courage to give them up.

The characteristics of self-actualizers and the behaviors leading to self-actualization are shown in the list above.  Although people achieve self-actualization in their own unique way, they tend to share certain characteristics.  However, self-actualization is a matter of degree, ‘There are no perfect human beings’ (Maslow,1970a, p. 176).

It is not necessary to display all 15 characteristics to become self-actualized, and not only self-actualized people will display them. Maslow did not equate self-actualization with perfection. Self-actualization merely involves achieving ones potential. Thus, someone can be silly, wasteful, vain and impolite, and still self-actualize. Less than two percent of the population achieve self-actualization.

 

Source:http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

 

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