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Is YOUR Hierarchy of Needs Being Met?

Following up on our last post of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, let’s look more closely at each of these five human needs:

1. Physiological Needs

  • These needs are the most basic needs in order to sustain life, such as the need for water, air, food, and sleep.  According to Maslow, these are the foundation of all human needs since all other needs are secondary until the physiological needs are met.

2. Security Needs

  • These needs are the intrinsic needs for safety and security.  While important for survival, they are not as demanding or basic as the physiological needs.  Security needs include things such as shelter, safe environment, income, and access to healthcare or medicine.

3. Social Needs

  • These needs are the intrinsic needs of belonging, love, and affection.  These needs begin to really set us apart from our animal friends and fall into the relationship realms such as family, companionship, and love.  This level on the hierarchy delves into finding the familial, social, political, and/or religious groups with which to associate and belong.

4. Esteem Needs

  • The higher up the pyramid one travels, the more important the final two needs become.  Esteem needs include feelings of self-esteem, personal worth, social recognition, and one’s sense of accomplishment being met.

5. Self-actualization

  • This top level of Maslow’s pyramid involves the development of a person’s individual potential.  At this level one finds less emphasis on the opinions of others, continual personal growth and development, as well as fulfillment of their individual potential.

Maslow’s theory is still studied and accepted today, well more than a half of a century after he articulated these needs.  The basis of Maslow’s theory is that human beings are not only motivated by unsatisfied needs, but that higher needs cannot be acknowledged or met until the basic needs have first been satisfied.

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Judy W Bell

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