Monday, October 27, 2008

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

I've been doing some thinking about Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs.
A simple and elegant model of what drives the individual .... I think it also has some close ties to flow that are worth investigating.
Here are a few questions that come to mind:
  • Is flow available at all levels of the hierarchy?
  • If so, is there more flow opportunities at the higher?
  • What is self-actualization anyway? Is it nirvana? Ultimate flow?
These and other questions ..... I'm going to have to explore the associations more fully. Certainly there is a view that self-actualization is related to spirituality. I myself do not think it is necessarily so and given that Maslow is a scientist I doubt that is what he had in mind.
My simple interpretation of what's at the apex of the needs hierarchy is the self-awareness and confidence that comes with having transcended all other worldly needs. It is about not being reliant upon others for our sense of self, of knowing our place in society and recognizing the limits of our powers. If that takes us into the spiritual plane, so be it. But there is nothing wrong with reaching the summit and simply stopping, not thinking too much and taking in the view.
I'll have to check the official definition and get back to you .....