/ Religion and Spirituality
The Hierarchy of Needs
By:Robert Elias Najemy
Why do we do what we do? The answer is always that some need is compelling us to do so. We are slaves of our needs. We do whatever our needs command us to do.
There are all types of needs; physical, material, emotional, mental, social, professional, spiritual etc. When we satisfy our needs they stop annoying us for a period of time, but soon enough they seek repeated satisfaction. When a particular need keeps coming up repeatedly over a period of years, it controls our lives and determines, to a great deal, our character and our relationships with the people and world around us.
Psychologists (Abraham Maslow) have discovered that there is a hierarchy of needs which, in most cases, need to be fulfilled in a certain order. The first and most basic need is that of survival and the satisfaction of basic body needs such as food, water and air. If we do not have these, we obviously cannot feel the need for anything else. The second need is for safety from dangers of any type. If bombs are falling, or we do not have a home, or a lion is chasing us our only need is to find safety.
The third need is for human contact, to belong to someone or to some group (family, social, professional, political, religious, racial, athletic group or any other type of group). Once we feel that we belong to one or more groups, we start to feel the need to be respected and esteemed by those groups. We want their affirmation. We would like to stand out, to be something special. This helps us to feel our own worth.
Once we have established feelings of security, worthiness and self esteem we begin to feel another need growing with us, the need for Self-Actualization, or the manifestation of ever greater portions of our latent potential on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level.
This is the main purpose of life. The purpose for which we are born. That does not mean that our other more basic needs, which come before this in the hierarchy of needs, are not important or must be ignored. It means, however, that they must be seen as stepping stones towards higher levels of living and being.
Thus, there are no «good» or «bad» needs, or desires. They all exist as a part of an ever-ascending stairway of experiences and tests, which allow us to develop and manifest our unlimited inner potential. Our problems are created when we get caught up in some particular desire or need and do not move on, when the time comes. We become attached to old stimuli, which once provoked pleasure, security or affirmation for us at a certain step on that stairway. We have stopped there, not realizing that we can find even more security, happiness and self-worth by letting go of that step and proceeding on to a higher one. Because the new step is unknown to us it can provoke fear, which we will need to overcome.
Let us move onward and upward, letting go of the steps (needs and habits) which are now creating unhappiness and inner and outer conflict. Let us dare to step upward even though we are not sure of what we will encounter.
Article Source: http://www.redsofts.com/articles/
Robert E. Najemy, author of 25 books and life coach with 30 years of experience, has trained over 300 life coaches and now does so over the Internet. Become a life coach.
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