Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory that states that human beings have a wide array of needs that can be classified into five broad categories. Maslow argues that the needs of human beings can be classified as physiological, safety, love and belonging, need for self-esteem and lastly, the need for self-actualization (McLeod, 2007). The essay explores the foundations of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, its relevance and application in our daily lives.
Maslow argues that human needs are hierarchical in nature. In other words, one must achieve one level or class of needs before looking forward to meeting higher needs. Consequently, the different levels of needs take the shape of the pyramid. The bottom part of the pyramid comprises physiological needs, which may include the need for food, shelter or clothes, whereas at the apex of the pyramid is the need for self-actualization. It is worth noting that as one ascends the pyramid, it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve the next class of needs (Huitt, 2004).
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is very important to me for a number of reasons. First, it enables me to understand what motivates people to work hard even after accumulating a significant amount of wealth. I have come to realize that everyone looks forward to having self-actualization, and this motivates people to work hard in business, education, or politics. Secondly, the concept acts as a guide on how to analyze one’s achievements as far as meeting various needs is concerned. For instance, I can be in a position to examine the levels of needs that I have achieved. In addition, the theory gives a window of opportunity to the category of needs that I am yet to meet such as that of self-actualization. Thirdly, the theory allows me to set priorities when it comes to meeting competing needs. Given that one level of needs has to be achieved before going to the next level, it will not, therefore, make sense for me to buy a car if I cannot meet my basics needs such as having food or shelter.
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The concept of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is applicable in daily life in a number of ways. First, the concept empowers a person to prioritize on how to satisfy the competing needs. To this end, one should focus on the level of needs that are at the bottom of the hierarchy of needs pyramid as they are easy to achieve. Thereafter, one can gradually commit resources to achieve other levels of needs (Kaur, 2013). In addition, the concept enables one to have a sense of purpose in life. Rather than being in the comfort zone after being in a position to meet the physiological needs, one is, therefore, able to look forward to meeting other levels of needs.
The application of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is beneficial to my life in a number of ways. First, the concept of self-actualization motivates me to aspire to reach the full potential of my life. Consequently, under the inspiration of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I will strive to be the best that I can ever be in all realms of life. Secondly, I will be in a better position to meet my needs by concentrating first on those that are most basic and vital for survival. Thirdly, after an in-depth reading of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I have come to the conclusion that money cannot meet all my needs. For instance, the need for love and belonging cannot be attained using the money. In the pursuit of happiness and prosperity, I will not, therefore, put all my efforts into the creation of wealth. I will spend a significant amount of my time building and nurture healthy relationships with my loved ones.
- Huitt, W. (2004). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Educational psychology interactive. GA: Valdosta State University.
- Kaur, A. (2013).Maslow’s need hierarchy theory: Applications and criticisms. Global Journal of Management and Business Studies, 3(10), 1061-1064.
- McLeod, S. (2007). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.