Hierarchy of Human Needs

This is Abra­ham Maslow’s Hier­ar­chy of Human Needs. I think it’s a mar­velous approach to self-improve­ment. It was a hand­out in my Lit­er­a­ture-based Research class, but I’ve learned that it embod­ies the human­ist school of psy­chol­o­gy, which Maslow found­ed.

  1. Phys­i­o­log­i­cal: the need to sat­is­fy hunger, thirst, and oth­er bod­i­ly pre­oc­cu­pa­tions.
  2. Safety/security: the need to be out of dan­ger.
  3. Belong­ing­ness: the need for affil­i­a­tion with oth­ers, a sense of being loved or accept­ed.
  4. Esteem: the need to gain approval and recog­ni­tion.
  5. Cog­ni­tive: the need to know, to under­stand, to explore
  6. Aes­thet­ic: the need for sym­me­try, order and beau­ty.
  7. Self-actu­al­iza­tion: the need to expe­ri­ence self ful­fill­ment, to real­ize one’s full poten­tial. The self actu­al­iz­ing per­son is one who is:
    • Not afraid of the unknown and can tol­er­ate doubt, uncer­tain­ty, and ten­ta­tive­ness that accom­pa­ny the per­cep­tion of the new and unfa­mil­iar.
    • Not ashamed of his/her human nature with its short­com­ings, imper­fec­tions, frail­ties, and weak­ness­es.
    • Not ham­pered by con­ven­tions but does not flout con­ven­tions mere­ly for the sake of doing so.
    • Mis­sioned-ori­ent­ed on the basis of an unco­erced sense of respon­si­bil­i­ty, duty, or oblig­a­tion.
    • Respect­ful of oth­ers and tries to under­stand their per­spec­tives.
    • Attuned to the oppor­tu­ni­ties of soli­tude and pri­va­cy as well as of social inter­ac­tion.
    • Ful­ly con­scious of per­son­al respon­si­bil­i­ty for actions and for growth, not blam­ing oth­ers or charg­ing oth­ers with the task moti­va­tion.
    • In awe of the won­der of the every­day world and of life’s lim­it­less pos­si­bil­i­ties.
    • Pos­sessed of a deep and uncon­di­tion­al empa­thy for human beings in gen­er­al.
    • Hum­ble in his/her recog­ni­tion of what he/she knows in com­par­i­son to what could be known and acknowl­edges oth­ers as teach­ers, respect­ing every­one as a poten­tial con­trib­u­tor to his/her knowl­edge.
    • High­ly eth­i­cal and at least intu­itive­ly aware of Kant’s famous cat­e­gor­i­cal imper­a­tive, which charges us to “Act only accord­ing to prin­ci­ples which we can will also to be uni­ver­sal laws.”
    • Philo­soph­i­cal and pos­sessed of an unhos­tile sense of humor
    • Vision­ary but not inclined to impose his/her beliefs on oth­ers.
    • Alive!
    1. Self-tran­scen­dence: the need to con­nect to some­thing beyond the self and to move toward a mean­ing­ful self­less­ness through that con­nect­ed­ness.
    Maybe this is old news for some, but it’s giv­en me plen­ty to think about.

    1. You should take a psy­chol­o­gy class I think you’d real­ly enjoy it. We cov­ered this in detail when I took it. =)

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