Knowledge is power. By knowing we actually can help ourselves and others to improve the quality of life. Knowledge guides us from unknown to known. Recently I rediscovered Abraham Maslow's pyramid which back in days was a big phenomenon in the Psychology field. Time passed and his work still stays very valuable when it comes to understanding human needs. A. Maslow discovered that healthy human being has a certain needs. He represented them in a five-level pyramid starting from more primitive needs which have to be met in the first place to be able to go higher.
Maslow called the bottom four levels of the pyramid ‘deficiency needs’ because a person does not feel anything if they are met, but becomes anxious if they are not. Thus, physiological needs such as eating, drinking, and sleeping are deficiency needs, as are safety needs, social needs such as friendship and sexual intimacy, and ego needs such as self-esteem and recognition. In contrast, Maslow called the fifth level of the pyramid a ‘growth need’ because it enables a person to ‘self-actualize’ or reaches his fullest potential as a human being. Once a person has met his deficiency needs, he can turn his attention to self-actualization; however, only a small minority of people are able to self-actualize because self-actualization requires uncommon qualities such as honesty, independence, awareness, objectivity, creativity, and originality.
This system can give quite a good perspective and understanding why you are where you are and which needs to be met in order to realize others. We can't skip needs which are part of human nature and to help ourselves to develop we need to start from the most basic "Psychological needs". Please see the short description below and take some time to look into your own life. Feel how well your needs been met and where you need to focus to help yourself to feel better.
1. Physiological needs - these are biological requirements for human survival, e.g. air, food, drink, shelter, clothing, warmth, sex, sleep.
If these needs are not satisfied the human body cannot function optimally. Maslow considered physiological needs the most important as all the other needs become secondary until these needs are met.
2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.
3. Love and belongingness needs - after physiological and safety needs have been fulfilled, the third level of human needs is social and involves feelings of belongingness. The need for interpersonal relationships motivates behavior.
Examples include friendship, intimacy, trust, and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).
4. Esteem needs - which Maslow classified into two categories: (i) esteem for oneself (dignity, achievement, mastery, independence) and (ii) the desire for reputation or respect from others (e.g., status, prestige).
Maslow indicated that the need for respect or reputation is most important for children and adolescents and precedes real self-esteem or dignity.
5. Self-actualization needs - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth, and peak experiences. A desire “to become everything one is capable of becoming”(Maslow, 1987, p. 64).
[Some information been used from: 'Psychology today"]