Have you ever wondered why someone felt so distant or seemed so different
than anyone else in a crowd? Have you ever wondered why you always seemed
to struggle with some mundane task in your life while others seem to soar?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you need to sit back
and evaluate your current situation and determine the best way to begin
moving up through the various levels of life. Life is a series of levels,
or steps, that lead to many different paths. Each step allows us the
security and knowledge necessary to take on the next big step to bring us
fulfillment on our path toward our vision.
--- The difference that makes the difference. ---
So many people are seen as weird or odd. Some people are seen as
intimidating or gentle. Others are seen simply for their appearance, race,
creed, or gender. However, many people present themselves for what they are
not. Have you truly ever thought about why? Why do these people seem this
way? It's not the color of our skin or our creed that differentiate us. It
is what we've experienced in our life that brings out the difference in each
other. Life exists in levels of knowledge and experience.
Life's levels vary from person to person. In many cases, people have
experienced much in their short lives and have either succumbed to the pain
or learned from the experience. Many have worked their way up through the
levels to achieve satisfaction and the ability to pursue their desires and
"do their own thing." It is the learning that takes us beyond what we are
today into what we could be tomorrow. It is within our abilities to acquire
genuine power as we grow, or present the pretense of power because we are
not satisfied and cannot get to where we want to go.
--- What are these levels? ---
According to Abraham Maslow, our basic levels of life are defined by a
"Hierarchy of Needs." He noted that there are a series of basic needs that
all humans must satisfy. Once these basic needs are satisfied, additional
needs can, and will, emerge. However, you cannot pursue these additional
needs until the basic needs are met.
It is when one or more of these basic needs becomes disrupted or unsatisifed
that you begin to feel stressed, unfulfilled, and unable to pursue your
desires. It is when each of these basic needs is fulfilled that you can
begin to pursue your life's vision. As listed, in order below, these needs
include physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization. Once
these basic needs are met, only then can you continue down whichever the
path of fulfillment you chose.
1. Physiological Needs: These are the most basic needs that we all require
to exist, including: air, water, food, sleep, and sex. When these needs are
not satisfied we may feel sickness, irritation, pain, or some type of
2. Safety Needs: Safety needs focus on stability and consistency for
ourselves in the outside world. We all require the security of a home and
family. For example, safety needs sometimes motivate people to become
religious because of the promise of a safe place after death.
3. Love Needs: Humans have a desire to belong to groups such as clubs, work
groups, religious groups, families, or gangs. We need to feel non-sexual
love by others and to be accepted by others---we need to be needed.
4. Esteem Needs: There is the self-esteem that results from competence or
mastery of a task and the self-esteem from the attention and recognition
that comes from others. This is similar to the belongingness level;
however, the desire for admiration has to do with the need for power.
5. Self-Actualization: Self-actualization is the desire to ultimately become
everything that you are capable of becoming. When you reach this point, you
literally have everything. Once everything is secure and satisfying, you
can then begin to seek knowledge, peace, aesthetic experiences, and
self-fulfillment. This is the point at which you can achieve your personal
goals and go after your vision.
--- Satisfying your needs. ---
Before you can chase your desires, achieving self-actualization, you must
first satisfy the basic needs. But, to satisfy your basic needs, you must
evaluate your position in the list of basic needs and determine how to
satisfy them. Satisfying your needs can be anything from physical
relocation to finding a new job or changing mates.
Satisfying your needs can occur in many different ways. Sometimes you're
forced into it and, other times, you simply resolve them under your own
control. It takes some evaluation of your current situation to accept and
realize how to resolve these basic needs to move up in your levels of life.
In my experiences, all of my basic needs were constantly shaken. Between
the death of my parents to the destruction of my home by fire, I continued
to find ways to resolve the problems that plagued my security and safety.
Once I was able to become strong enough to overcome and achieve, only then
was I able to feel the satisfaction that my basic needs were met.
--- What's next? ---
The reason so many people are stuck in one place in their life has to do
with the fact that they have not satisfied the basic requirements of the
hierarchy of needs. People who are in bad jobs, making barely enough money
to make ends meet, are unable to move into the next level of love or
self-esteem. They are stuck because they have not made it to a level that
they can pursue their own desires.
Call it "rights of passage" or simply "getting out of the muck." Whatever
you call it, you must be able to determine how to satisfy your most basic
needs before you can ever reach a level to pursue your own, personal
desires. Once you have satisfied the basic levels of existence and risen to
the top of the ladder, you are able to move out into other areas of life
that are important to you.
It is important to be able to satisfy your "needs" before you can acquire
your "wants." Don't give up as there is a way to dig out and get to the
top. You just have to evaluate your situation, make a plan, and determine
how to make it happen for yourself.
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