Wednesday, December 3, 2008

the actualization of one's self.

In about 14 of my college classes we studied Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This topic often perplexed me and has been the subject of many of my thoughts lately, because let's be honest-- that's just the type of thing I think about on a regular basis. So, yes, it's true my mind stretches beyond dead presidents and Beyonce.

So. Anyway.

I've been doing some reading lately and have become even more perplexed by this man's theory. First some background: the basis of Maslow's theory is that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower needs need to be satisfied before higher needs can be satisfied.

According to Maslow's theory, if these fundamental needs are not satisfied then one will surely be motivated to satisfy them. Higher needs such as social needs and esteem are not recognized until one satisfies the needs basic to existence. For example: Physiological needs are those required to sustain life, such as: air, food, water and sleep. According to Maslow's theory, if these fundamental needs are not satisfied then one will surely be motivated to satisfy them (if you aren’t breathing on your own, I’m not sure any amount of motivation can help you, but I’m no doctor). Higher needs such as social needs and esteem are not recognized until one satisfies the needs basic to existence. He then states that once those needs are met you can move on to bigger and better things like financial security, social needs (like belonging to a group, OMG) and then on to achievement and attention and then...then, you reach the summit of Maslow's hierarchy: self-actualization. Self-actualization is defined as the quest of reaching one's full potential as a person.

This is where I get lost.

From the day we're born aren't we cravers of attention (some more than others)? Don't some people put social needs way ahead of financial security? And I'm pretty positive that long ago I started the quest of reaching my full-potential.

Maslow also describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that which the person was born to do.

But, here's my question-- what if you feel like you were born to be on reality TV? Or that you were born to burn CDs for people's birthday? Then what? Then, I just never reach self-actualization?

Well, great.

Also, I'm pretty sure that self-actualization can only be reached when one's needs are being met by Jesus and not others (or one's self), but that's a whole other topic.

I hope everyone is motivated to get some air and water today, then you can worry about your social status on Facebook.




1 comment:

Jc said...

LetsReflect.com is a cool website centered on Self-Actualization.

Here's my profile...
http://www.letsreflect.com/profile.php?userid=6

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