This chart comes from the Wikipedia Article on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which can be found by clicking here.
Maslow’s Hierarchy – Physiological Needs Revisited
The Goal Of Physiological Research Is Functional Nature (Walter Rudolf Hess)
Some Definitions First
Goal – The result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
Physiological – Consistent with the normal functioning of an organism. Physiology is the branch of biology dealing with the functions and activities of living organisms and their parts, including all physical and chemical processes.
Research – Diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, applications, etc.
Functional – The purpose for which something is designed or exists; its role. The action for which a person or thing is particularly fitted or employed.
Nature – The elements of the natural world. The sum total of the forces at work throughout the universe. The biological functions or the urges to satisfy their requirements.
Maslow’s Ideas In Today’s World
As I said yesterday, I believe that Abraham Maslow’s ideas are more relevant than ever.
Interestingly, a reader directed my attention to the fact that Colin Wilson, a philosopher and writer of crime and fiction books, has contended that it would not be until the 21st century that Abraham Maslow’s work would be truly appreciated.
Well, here we are. We’re now well into the 21st century and we’re showing no signs of retreating.
It is my contention that Maslow’s work was “spot-on” and we would all do very well to pay attention to his ideas.
The Most Basic Usually Comes First
Maslow contended that until our basic physiological needs were met, human beings aren’t really able to focus on meeting their higher order needs, such as safety, love, esteem and self-actualization.
Personally, I believe we’re all capable of working on fulfilling our needs in all these areas at the same time.
So in other words, I’m not so sure Maslow was suggesting that ALL lower needs must be met in order to begin fulfilling higher needs.
I simply think he was suggesting that the basic, lower level needs come first and that until they are met, so much of our time will be devoted toward the fulfillment of those basic needs that we won’t have much time left over to work on the others.
The Foundation Upon Which All Our Activities Are Based
In other words, our fulfillment of our physiological needs is the “foundation” upon which all of our activities are based.
If we don’t breathe, we die.
If we don’t have food, we die.
If we don’t have water, we die.
If we don’t have sex, our species does not reproduce itself, so it will die.
If our internal systems get out of balance (i.e. lack of homeostasis), we die.
If we don’t get rid of the waste products produced from our activities, we die.
As I mentioned a little earlier in this post, I believe most human beings are constantly working, simultaneously, to fulfill their needs on multiple levels of the pyramid.
Here’s the catch:
The higher up the pyramid you want to get, the more important the lower levels are to your success or failure.
That’s why I think Maslow was a genius when he came up with the pyramid concept. Not only did he get his points across verbally, but he also got them across visually.
His pyramid says it all.
Until next time, may you find your path by walking it . . .
Stanley F. Bronstein
Agent of SuperChange