Most of us know Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs, but have you thought about linking it in with your personal development? Linking these two things can give you a clear direction for your life. Read this article to find out how to can jumpstart your 2021 motivation!
So, for a quick recap, what is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Well, it is a motivational theory in psychology presented in a pyramid format. It details five different levels of human needs. The five levels are:
- Physiological Needs
- Safety and Security
- Love and Belonging
The basic idea is that you work your way up the pyramid to meet your needs on each level. Sounds simple, but is it? Here is how it works in practice so that you can put it to the test yourself.
Let’s have a look at the five different levels. You might be surprised to find you are on a different level to where you thought you were! The first two levels are related to your basic needs. These are the levels with the primary physical needs for human survival.
Level 1 – Physiological Needs
If we look at the two levels related to basic needs, the bottom level refers to physiological needs. At this lowest level, the requirements are food, rest, warmth, and water.
These needs are what every human being needs to survive on planet earth.
We can break down these survival needs into the following:
- Food – It must have calories and nutrition to sustain life.
- Rest – 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is optimal.
- Warmth – Shelter can help protect us from cold or heat and ensure we do not suffer from hyperthermia or hypothermia.
- Water – There needs to be enough water, and it has to be clean and safe.
For humans to fulfill these needs, they will generally need a job, so they have money to pay for these things.
Level 2 – Safety and Security
The next level up in the pyramid is related to your safety and security. This level is also a basic need. For human beings to progress to the next level, they need to feel safe and secure in their environment.
Depending on where you live, this might not always be possible. Sadly, nowhere is 100% safe, even if you take the highest precautions. So it would help if you created the most secure and safe environment that you can.
This need can apply to your work and your home environment. You can take steps to avoid danger and not to put yourself in harm’s way.
If you think about it from a work perspective, always try to work somewhere that feels comfortable. When you work in a relaxed manner, you will feel more motivated in your career and feel the urge to work on your personal development.
Level 3 – Love and Belonging
Once you have achieved the bottom two levels of the pyramid and fulfilled your basic needs, you enter the third level. Both the third and fourth levels are related to your psychological needs. In the third level, you concentrate on love and a feeling of belonging.
So what does this mean?
Feelings of love and belonging refer to your intimate relationships and friends. Also, feeling part of “a group” and not excluded by people. It is almost like finding your place and feeling comfortable and relaxed.
Think about yourself and how you felt when somebody you love makes you feel loved. It feels special.
So when your relationships are bad, you mainly feel unmotivated and “stuck”. The same applies to work relationships. If you don’t think that you fit in at work, you won’t perform well. You certainly won’t feel motivated to take your job and work to the next level.
It’s not just personal relationships with a partner; it can be relationships with family members. When relationships are not working, it can affect other areas of your life.
If your relationships are causing you problems:
- Take a step back from it all and see if you can work out what needs to be changed to make things better.
- Don’t rule out seeking professional help to put things in perspective.
Level 4 – Self-Esteem
The fourth level is self-esteem. This level is still a psychological need. Some people might refer to it as “feeding the ego”. You might think you have no ego, but everybody does to different extents. It is how confident you feel about the value that you give as a human being.
It is the human sense of wanting recognition and respect from others. You want somebody to congratulate you on what you have done or achieved.
When we receive these accolades, they all help to build our self-esteem.
For example, if you do a job you enjoy, you can be more productive. Your self-esteem will be higher than somebody who is just going through the motions. It can propel you to achieve even more as you feel so happy with yourself.
Level 5 – Self-Actualization – 2021 Motivation
The fifth and final level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is self-actualization. This last and ultimate level is a self-fulfillment need. You can reach this level when you feel you have reached your full potential in all areas of your life. This level also might include undertaking creative activities that resonate with you.
It sounds almost too good to be true, but it is possible. Think about doing a job that you love so much it doesn’t feel like work at all.
Interestingly enough, Maslow also referred to this fifth level as a growth level. Maslow called it this because if we want to self-actualize, we have to push ourselves and go beyond our normal limits.
2021 Motivation – Main Takeaways
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is an excellent benchmark you can use to keep yourself on track. Many things can appear in our lives when we least expect them. Sometimes things make us go off track, but you will get there if you stick to a system. Work your way through the pyramid of needs and notice what a difference it makes to your planning and goals.
We might not always know what is around the corner, but we can prepare ourselves to be more successful in our lives!
I am looking forward to hearing about your stories later in 2021 and how you are progressing. Good luck for 2021! I wish you all the best in your development journey! Best, Sally
Sally Leslie is a motivational coach and optimist. She helps freelancers and entrepreneurs create balance in their lives and work towards their personal and professional goals. Sally is also a B2B freelance writer for entrepreneurs, SMEs, and startups. A lover of plants, freedom, and football!