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Exposed: Abraham Maslow’s Theory of Motivation

Abraham Maslow’s Theory of Motivation

Maslow knew all about passion…….

Abraham Maslow's theory of motivation

Abraham Maslow :: Mr Personality

Abraham Maslow is the personality man.  He’s a humanistic psychologist who has influenced many fields including education.  Abraham Maslow’s theory of motivation is key to our passions.

I want to share his views with you because what he teaches about our natural and basic need to blossom to our full potential really explains our relationship with our personal passions and purpose in life.

Humanists don’t believe we can be effectively pushed and pulled but that we achieve when we act from our potential.  Maslow’s theory of motivation shows us that he believed that we operate from an innate curiosity, ensuring that we reach for high-level of capabilities, striving for creativity, our highest consciousness and a wiseness to become a ‘fully functioning person’ a ‘healthy personality’ or as Maslow calls this; the ‘self-actualizing person’.

Maslow understood our need to connect with our core in order to nurture our passions to enable us to realise our full potential.  I’d like to share his thoughts with you, and ask you to consider where your own personal growth compares with his model, then how you can take control to move onward and upward.

Maslow identified and encompassed our primary needs in a 5 level hierarchical structure.  Our primary needs are instinctive, equivalent of those in other creatures.  Each level over rides the next before greater levels of need become apparent.  At our highest levels we realise needs for understanding, esthetic appreciation and spirituality – the comprehensive understanding of self.

In the correct environment we will grow straight and beautiful, realising the potential we’ve inherited.  I believe the vast majority of people hover around levels 3 or 4 with aspirations to the next level but very often do not take the action required to achieve them.

Maslow’s primary requirements are as follows:

1)  Physiological need:

These are biological requirements i.e. oxygen, nutrients, water, and a comparatively constant body heat.  These are our most fundamental needs – if we didn’t have these nothing else would matter to us.

Maslows Hierarchy Of Needs

Maslows Hierarchy Of Needs :: Illustrated as a pyramid with the most basic needs at it’s base.

2)  Safety:

When the first level is satisfied and no longer impact our views and behaviors, the demands for security may become active.  This is about living in an orderly predictable world where inconsistencies and the unfamiliar are rare.

3)  Love and belonging:

When safety and physiologic welfare are fulfilled Maslow says that we seek to achieve a feeling of belonging or feeling accepted.  This involves both giving and receiving love, affection and the sense of belonging in any emotionally based relationship.

4)  Esteem:

Next up, our need for regard may become dominant. Both self-regard and from other people.  We have a need to be accepted and valued by others or we experience anxiety.

Our need for self-respect translates to the need for mastery, competence, , self-confidence, independence and freedom which are based on inner competence won through our experience.  When these needs are disappointed, the individual feels substandard, powerless, helpless and un-needed.

5)  Self-actualisation:

When all of the above is satisfied then and only then are the needs for self-actualization triggered.  Maslow identifies self-actualization as our motivation to be and do that which we were ‘born to do’.  To realise our full potential.

A musician must do music, an artist must paint.  These needs make themselves felt in signs of impatience or frustration. We feel on edge, lacking something, in short – uneasy.

If we are missing one of the other levels of the hierarchy it’s really quite easy to identify the problem.  It isn’t always clear what’s missing when there’s a need for self-actualization.

Maslow suggests the only reason you won’t achieve self- actualization is because pressures applied by society.  He says that our educational methods contribute to these handicaps and that facilities should react to and nurture the potential a person has for growing into a self-actualizing individual.

Educators should be teaching us to achieve ‘self actualisation’

I’m passionate about educating our children in response to their potential no matter where that may come from.  That their fully realising identity and esteem is paramount to living as a fully functioning person.  My children attend a Montissori nursery which is very much in tune with that philosophy.

Maslow suggested education should be teaching:

  1. To be authentic, to be fully aware of our inner selves by tuning in to inner-feelings.
  2. To exceed our cultural conditioning and become world citizens.
  3. To assist us in discovering our life’s calling.
  4. That life is cherished, and there’s joy to be received, and that if we are open to seeing the good and the joy in all kinds of places, it makes life worth living.
  5. That our uniqueness is a gift and we should learn our intimate nature.  From true knowledge of aptitudes and limitations we may know what to build on, an subsequently what potential exists.
  6. We must see that the individual basic needs of safety, belonging, and esteem are fulfilled to free the path for personal growth.
  7. That we grow our consciousness to value beauty and other uplifting things in nature and in living.
  8. That controls are good, and utter abandon is counter productive. We need personal control to better the quality of life in all areas.
  9. To attain the emotional intelligence to deal with troubles such as unfairness, of pain, suffering, and dying.
  10. To be good selectors.  We should be given practice in making beneficial choices.

It may be a controversial statement to make but I don’t believe our educational system currently nurtures the individuals innate potential.  If anything it seeks to quash creativity in favour of enabling academic study.  I recall my school reports commenting on my ability if ‘I could just apply as much energy to my subjects as I did to my personal interests’.  I can see the same happening with my nieces today.  Something should be done about this.  I haven’t yet found a school for my children that incorporates Montessori philosophy and I’m nervous about that.

So that’s my quick delve into Maslow.   I might be blinkered by my mission but I think he’s suggesting that people operating as a fully functioning person with a healthy personality are those who have identified and are living their passions and their purpose in life.

What do you think?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on Maslow and how his hierarchy fits into modern day life.  Please comment and/or share this post with anyone you think might find value in it.  Thanks.

Here’s to finding and living your passion.

Saz Bailey

Can we learn to lead?


The debate continues….

If  you’re considering starting your own business with a background of working for other people you might be wondering if you’ve got what it takes to take the lead and be the pivotal character.  In committing to your business people are buying into you and your vision, and your ability to deliver what you say you will through the resources at your disposal.

People have debated over and over whether leadership is a trait you must be born with.  Research shows that you can’t explain leadership by for example genetics; intelligence, family line or education, ethnicity, gender.  You will find massive variance in all of those sorts of areas from one leader to the next.

It’s all down to mind set.

Absolutely anyone can be an effective leader if they are passionate about what they do.  When you are aligned with what it is that motivates you leadership is the outcome of being passionately committed to achieving the outcome you desire.  Ordinary people with a compelling dream will step up with extraordinary commitment to make their dream a reality.

You have to find and connect deeply with your passion, your purpose, your dream, your desire, your destiny.

A leader has the ability to adapt (in what could be life changing circumstances) and to recognise their passion.  They have the natural ability to engage other people in a shared vision, this is because it comes from their core values, they have complete conviction in what they are doing.  Leaders have an unwavering sense of integrity, to do the right thing and have the courage of these convictions in delivering their mission.  It doesn’t matter what or how many set backs they come up against, they are motivated and totally single minded about achieving their vision.

Anyone on this planet can make that connection with their core influence.

What you need is the mechanism to find out what your core influence is.  You need to find out what your values are, what makes you tick.  Then you can use your unique abilities and skills to lead a business that is totally aligned to you.  You can do this by asking yourself a whole heap of questions as part of a coaching programme.  Any good coach can help you achieve this but it’s quite a financial investment or you can try a book or DVD tutoring.

I undertook a 56 day home study course that addressed a lot of different areas of my life and led to a life changing decision.  I’m now connected with my passion and live in gratitude of what I have and where I’m going every day.  I now have a mission to help creative people realise and connect with their own personal and unique passion and empower them to reach their audience through Online marketing.

It’s entrepreneurs like this with positive creativity that shape the world we live in.  The power is in our hands to do much good.

I wouldn’t consider myself a leader. I don’t know that I have evolved my leadership skills.  What I do know is that I’m hoping to lead as many as I can into an exciting future that they don’t yet realise.

Please share your thoughts with me below.  I genuinely love to hear from you.  If someone you know might be inspired by this post then please share it with them through the links below or Tweet via above.  Thanks so much.

To your infinite potential and unstoppable success.

Saz Bailey