Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Maslow Epiphany!

So, I was messing around yesterday doing nothing in particular when I had an epiphany. Back in high school, I spent my freshman year studying world literature and no one from North Central HS who was in the accelerated English course could forget these two books: Books that Changed the World (which I still have) and Literary World Encyclopedia (something like that - it had a globe on the cover). Those books covered everything from philosophers to some of the literary "greats" throughout the world. And one philosopher in particular who I remember very well is Abraham Maslow.

Don't know who Maslow is? Tsk tsk...go wiki him lol. But in short, he came up with a theory in the '40s that people's focus in life changes depending on their needs, and that it's impossible to focus on ephimerial things like "happiness" and "satisfaction" when your more basic needs (i.e. water, food, shelter, safety) haven't been met.

Relevance? Very relevant...because there's no rule that your position on Maslow's "Needs Heirarchy" is always going to be progressive. Depending on what's going on in your life, you can find yourself anywhere on the pyramid and you can find yourself going back to the same level more than once in your life depending on your situation. Also, you can be on more than one level at a time.

Relevance to me? Well after a bowl of Frosted Flakes, I was lounging, listening to the Today Show I realized that I feel as if I've reached the top of Maslow's theory. This is huge! There was a time when I couldn't think about anything except his lowest level - Security (food, shelter, home, etc.) because life was just that hard (no lie!).

But over the last year, I've been able to really focus on my happiness, my goals, just anything that I wanted to do - not just on surviving. And especially with the last few weeks, after quitting my job, I've really been able to "actualize" my goals and make them come true! While most people are asking me why I'm not freaking out about surviving, I'm actually just enjoying my life and focusing on "the bigger picture". So, having said that...I have some new rules for myself:

- I will never again set my net value as low as a yearly salary for a job.
- I will no longer put everyone else's goals ahead of mine!
- I will be more socially conscious - it's good to give back!
- My self respect is not for sale!
- I will work with integrity and respect - snapping out the side of your neck at any and everyone is not an acceptable way to work.

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