Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs

Mazlow's Hierarchy

Professor Abraham Maslow noticed that some human needs take precedence over others, but when the more urgent needs are met, a person is motivated by “higher” needs.

Maslow outlined a hierarchy of human needs in the shape of a pyramid.  His theory has been widely accepted as a basis for understanding why humans behave the way they do.

According to this theory, an individual seeks to satisfy the more primitive needs first, and only then turns attention to the higher needs.

An article on BusinessBalls.com website states that:

“The Hierarchy of Needs theory remains valid today for understanding human motivation, management training, and personal development. Indeed, Maslow’s ideas surrounding the Hierarchy of Needs concerning the responsibility of employers to provide a workplace environment that encourages and enables employees to fulfill their own unique potential (self-actualization) are today more relevant than ever.”

Job Satisfaction and Personal Fulfillment

When we are not starved for food or safety, we tend to seek love and belonging.  If we have love and belonging, we seek respect and creativity, etc.  Most people in the modern world are motivated by more than hunger or security.

Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple, said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.  Don’t settle.  As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Why can’t we all be satisfied?

An article in the PsyBlog outlines “10 Psychological Keys to Job Satisfaction,” with the following conclusion:

When you look at this list of what makes for a satisfying job, you might wonder why everyone can’t have one. With a little thought, most of the predictors of satisfaction can be provided.

The answer is probably quite simple. Organisations pay lip-service to keeping their employees satisfied, but many don’t really believe it makes a difference. What this research shows is that it can make a huge difference.

Create Your Own Dream Job

Leo Babauta suggests, on the ZenHabits.net blog, “If you can’t find your dream job, create your own.” He says:

I was once unemployed, and I know the debilitating depression and the feelings of frustration and helplessness that can come with that. I’ve been stuck in a job I hate, and I felt imprisoned, trapped doing work that bored me while following orders of others and helping them achieve their goals.

Luckily I rose above those traps, but I have to admit it wasn’t easy. The solution has been one of the most liberating, empowering, joyous things in my life.

I wanted to share that little secret with those of you who are having a hard time finding a job, or who feel trapped in a job you hate:

Create your own dream job. Don’t wait for someone to hand it to you. Don’t hope that you’ll win the lottery. Don’t give up and consign yourself to a fate of misery and (worse) dullness.

In the 21st Century it may be easier to find a way to earn a living from home, due to the internet.  Personally, I have been self-employed for almost 40 years, and I have to admit that that it has not always been easy.  It has involved sacrifices and risks.  There have been very hard times.  It is not for everyone.  But I wouldn’t trade the freedom and creative satisfaction for a job.

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