Maslow’s hierarchy says we start with our Basic Needs – we need food in our bellies and a roof over our heads. If we add safety and security on top of that, we’ve met our basic needs. Think of it as the minimum requirements for a good life. Without those, we don’t even get off the starting block.
If you are still struggling with those needs, give yourself a break – on relationships, on job satisfaction, on reaching your potential. Focus instead on getting those needs met – one foot in front of the other with your head down and focused.
When you’ve mastered the Basics, then you can focus on the next set – satisfying relationships with your partner, friends, and family; feelings of accomplishment, ability to help others. These are our psychological needs.
The final mission, should we choose to accept it, is Self-actualization: achieving one’s Full Potential. It’s somewhere between levels two and three that most of us lie.
It’s where we are most vulnerable to hustlers, to promises – whether in person or online.
I spend way too much time in the online space, everyone trying to sell me. Throwing up evidence of their latest million-dollar launch:
– Everything done for you! Just buy my course for $1997 – I’ll teach you how to do it too!
– Sell t-shirts in your online store!
– Sell your Art!
– Set up your funnel!
– Grow your Followers!
– Be an InFlUeNcER!
You’ve seen it too! I know you have, and it’s in those moments when we don’t know what our dream is that we feel tempted. Could I buy that course and have wild success? The answer is NO!
Our vulnerability, our need for more, is what tempts us. But what if instead of looking outward, we looked inward at what we really want?
I don’t want a Ferrari and a big new house. I don’t want a Rolex. I don’t want stuff – if I have stuff, I have to worry about it.
There’s a reason Grandma put a covering on her favorite sofa – she had spent far too much on it and didn’t want to ruin it. She worried about her stuff.
So, if I don’t want stuff, what else is there?
– going out to dinner with friends when I want?
– not worrying about paying bills when they come up?
– spending time with people I care about?
– helping others get what they want?
– freedom to choose how I spend my day?
That’s my list – I would expect yours is different.
That’s my self-actualization. I may never reach my “full potential,” but that doesn’t mean I can’t strive for it daily. It also doesn’t mean that more money brings me closer.
Make your list of needs. When confronted with the hustlers, the online ads, apply it to your essentials list; if it doesn’t bring you closer, make it a hard pass.