To Become is to Self Actualize

What motivates people? Is it the same for all people?

Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who researched human motivation. His conclusion was that people were motivated to fill the needs they had. These needs generally followed a sequence from the basic, survival and safety needs to the social and self-fulfillment needs. For example, few people would feel the need for a meaningful job before they had met the need for being secure. Maslow called this the Hierarchy of Needs and it is often illustrated as a pyramid, with the bottom level being the motivation everyone had, the need to survive, and the highest level, the one that motivated the people that have met the lower needs, was the need to self-actualize to be fully satisfied with who they are and their place in the world. Self-actualized is the most individualistic of all the needs. For some it is to feel one with the world, for another it maybe to be creative, others may find it in religion.

Understanding The Hierarchy of Needs is useful in negotiation, behavior modification and raising children as it is in understanding oneself. There are many examples of the needs following this pattern and it is rather easy to think of situations that illustrate this. Disasters provide very clear demonstrations. A person may feel they have all their needs met; plenty of food, a safe home, a loving family, a community that welcomes them, respect and admiration at their job, and a feeling of self-fulfillment from understanding themselves and their place in the world. Now imagine there is a natural disaster or a man made one. Perhaps a power failure, a storm or fire. They now need the basics to survive. The needs they had for a sense of achievement and meaning at work no longer motivate them. They won’t be motivated by need for esteem until they know that they and the people they care most about are secure and safe for now and into the foreseeable future.

Self -Actualization is the peak of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
The hierarchy of needs is like a pyramid. The width of the levels shows the number of people who need that level met. The order from the bottom up shows the order in which the needs are met. Everyone needs the bottom physiological level because everyone needs air, water, food, sleep, a livable climate and shelter from predators. Once these needs are met they need to know they and their family will continue to have those needs met, to be safe and secure. These are the basic survival needs. The next levels of needs are those that make a person feel that they are a part of a community, with friends, and loved ones. The level above that is the need to feel that they are appreciated and valued for what they do. The highest level, self-actualization, is to be self-fulfilled by being the person they want to be, perhaps spiritual, calm, one with the world, creative. Almost all people fill needs from the base up. To become is to live with awareness as one strives to meet these needs .

Abraham Maslow was researching what motivated people and discovered that it was fulfilling needs and that they are the same for most people.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” in Psychological Review.[2] Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans’ innate curiosity. His theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology, some of which focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. He then created a classification system which reflected the universal needs of society as its base and then proceeding to more acquired emotions.[3] Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is used to study how humans intrinsically partake in behavioral motivation. Maslow used the terms “physiological”, “safety”, “belonging and love”, “social needs” or “esteem”, and “self-actualization” to describe the pattern through which human motivations generally move. This means that in order for motivation to arise at the next stage, each stage must be satisfied within the individual themselves. Additionally, this theory is a main base in knowing how effort and motivation are correlated when discussing human behavior. Each of these individual levels contains a certain amount of internal sensation that must be met in order for an individual to complete their hierarchy.[3] The goal in Maslow’s theory is to attain the fifth level or stage: self-actualization.[4]

Maslow’s theory was fully expressed in his 1954 book Motivation and Personality.[5] The hierarchy remains a very popular framework in sociology research, management training[6] and secondary and higher psychology instruction. Maslow’s classification hierarchy has been revised over time. The original hierarchy states that a lower level must be completely satisfied and fulfilled before moving onto a higher pursuit. However, today scholars prefer to think of these levels as continuously overlapping each other.[3] This means that the lower levels may take precedence back over the other levels at any point in time.