In 1943 Abraham Maslow created his famous hierarchy of needs; a psychological motivational theory encompassing a five-tier model of our human needs.
But why is this important to us 80 years later?
Before I expand on ‘the why’ we must consider ‘the what’. The five tiers are read from the bottom, upwards:
- self-actualisation (aka ‘outside our comfort zone’)
- love and belonging needs (friendship)
- safety (job security)
- physiological (food and clothing)
Before we can progress into each tier, we must have first satisfied the tier below.
Life can get boring without a purpose. We can feel trapped and suffocated.
Why is self-actualisation important to us? Quite simply it is about recognising and grabbing opportunities to become the best version of yourself.
This ranges from what some might perceive as trivial tasks such as creating edible meals in super quick time in the air fryer (one of my personal wins!), learning a new language, teaching yourself calligraphy, completing an MBA, and everything in-between.
Opening our minds to possibilities. As humans, we are fantastic at telling ourselves that things are impossible, or ‘that’s what other people do, but I am just not capable’ or ‘I am not smart enough’. These thoughts are ludicrous!
I live my life open to opportunities.
I never would have thought that the skills I have added to my personal tool kit would be transferable in so many different ways. I never would have guessed that qualifying as a therapeutic counsellor would be a skill I would use daily, subconsciously such as navigating my way through a sensitive conversation or chairing union negotiations.
Nor that these same skills would reduce anxiety for those I teach to scuba dive, or those who are facing a changing situation yet are struggling to create a logical, focused approach.
Quite honestly, this is an unexpected return on my personal investment.
Your investment in you will be priceless, for a lifetime. The commitment you make to yourself has no boundaries.
What can go wrong?
You will not get hurt trying.
You will thrive!
Feed your curiosities
What do you love to do? When you look out the window what do you see others doing yet wish you could do too?
- Learn how to play the guitar so you can serenade the campsite
- Teach yourself Spanish so can confidently converse with your overseas colleagues
- Sign up for that MBA, or a cookery class
It does not matter what the new skill is. It is the fact that you are learning something new. Something which gives you that ‘jumping out of bed feeling in the morning’ and the motivation to do more.
If you are curious, do not allow your self-imposed boundaries to gently expand your comfort zone.
Go for it! Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible’.
How to make Maslow proud
I invite you to answer these few questions:
- What are you interested in?
- Who is the subject expert?
- What are the obstacles?
- What resources will you need?
You never know where the possibilities will take you.