Which one are you?

I occasionally stumble upon great links that are too good not to share. This one I got from coolmel. I sort of rewrote it a bit though. I am hoping that this article will ask the reader pointedly the question, “Which one are you?”. Read on.

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, he talks about the types of people there are and what basically moves them. I’m quoting heavily from C. George Boeree’s excellent summary of Maslow’s work:

“Maslow created his now famous hierarchy of needs. Beyond the details of air, water, food, and sex, he laid out five broader layers: the physiological needs, the needs for safety and security, the needs for love and belonging, the needs for esteem, and the need to actualize the self, in that order.

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The Deficit NeedsT
he first four layers in the hierarchy Maslow called the Deficit Needs:

1. The physiological needs. These include the needs we have for oxygen, water, protein, salt, sugar, calcium, and other minerals and vitamins. They also include the need to maintain a pH balance (getting too acidic or base will kill you) and temperature (98.6 or near to it). Also, there’s the needs to be active, to rest, to sleep, to get rid of wastes (CO2, sweat, urine, and feces), to avoid pain, and to have sex.

2. The safety and security needs. When the physiological needs are largely taken care of, this second layer of needs comes into play. You will become increasingly interested in finding safe circumstances, stability, protection. You might develop a need for structure, for order, some limits.

3. The love and belonging needs. When physiological needs and safety needs are, by and large, taken care of, a third layer starts to show up. You begin to feel the need for friends, a sweetheart, children, affectionate relationships in general, even a sense of community. Looked at negatively, you become increasing susceptible to loneliness and social anxieties.

4. The esteem needs. Next, we begin to look for a little self-esteem. Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs, a lower one and a higher one. The lower one is the need for the respect of others, the need for status, fame, glory, recognition, attention, reputation, appreciation, dignity, even dominance. The higher form involves the need for self-respect, including such feelings as confidence, competence, achievement, mastery, independence, and freedom. Note that this is the “higher” form because, unlike the respect of others, once you have self-respect, it’s a lot harder to lose!

“All of the preceding four levels he calls deficit needs, or D-needs. If you don’t have enough of something — i.e. you have a deficit — you feel the need. But if you get all you need, you feel nothing at all! In other words, they cease to be motivating. As the old blues song goes, “you don’t miss your water till your well runs dry!”

The Being Needs
“The last level is a bit different. Maslow has used a variety of terms to refer to this level: He has called it growth motivation (in contrast to deficit motivation), being needs (or B-needs, in contrast to D-needs), and self-actualization.”
“These are needs that do not involve balance… Once engaged, they continue to be felt. In fact, they are likely to become stronger as we “feed” them! They involve the continuous desire to fulfill potentials, to “be all that you can be.” They are a matter of becoming the most complete, the fullest, “you” — hence the term, self-actualization.”

“…they had a sense of humility and respect towards others — something Maslow also called democratic values — meaning that they were open to ethnic and individual variety, even treasuring it. They had a quality Maslow called human kinship or Gemeinschaftsgefhl — social interest, compassion, humanity. And this was accompanied by a strong ethics, which was spiritual but seldom conventionally religious in nature.”

“And these people had a certain freshness of appreciation, an ability to see things, even ordinary things, with wonder. Along with this comes their ability to be creative, inventive, and original. And, finally, these people tended to have more peak experiences than the average person. A peak experience is one that takes you out of yourself, that makes you feel very tiny, or very large, to some extent one with life or nature or God. It gives you a feeling of being a part of the infinite and the eternal. These experiences tend to leave their mark on a person, change them for the better, and many people actively seek them out.”

So, which one are you?

For more of this, go to http://www.omidyar.net/group/community-general/news/574/

5 thoughts on “Which one are you?”

  1. Human life will never be understood unless its highest aspirations are taken into account. Growth, self-actualization, the striving toward health, the quest for identity and autonomy, the yearning for excellence (and other ways of phrasing the striving “upward”) must by now be accepted beyond question as a widespread and perhaps universal human tendency

    And yet there are also other regressive, fearful, self-diminishing tendencies as well, and it is very easy to forget them in our intoxication with “personal growth,” especially for inexperienced youngsters. …. We must appreciate that many people choose the worse rather than the better, that growth is often a painful process….

    Abraham Maslow, Motivation and Personality

  2. hi jim,

    nowadays, i am in the fourth level although i have reached the last level already….i passed that stage of worrying a lot….and right now, i am just embracing and enjoying the moment.


  3. Hey Isay, I know what you mean by staying in the moment. That is my only constant spiritual practice. I probably flit from the lowest to the highest but have been staying at Being lately. But mind you, I can still slip!! ha ha! Bu wherever I am is probably where I am meant to be.

    Anonymous–Yes, I am thinking of attending the Wilber class if I can get some time off during the next leg of the tour!

  4. grabe these hierarchy is feed to us nursing students almost everyday in our health care 1. our c.i.’s always stress out the importance of meeting them and giving attention to them. pero whats ironic is halos hindi namin mafulfill anf mga needs namen dahil sa subject na toh.
    ohh and by the way love the blogs, love the work, and love the songs… keep churning them out.
    bow po kami senyo…

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