February 6, 2023

Reaching Self Actualisation

I always do my thinking when I am cooking and yesterday I was thinking about how what we see as necessities has changed. I can remember the days when if you had a television or a car you were classed as rich. When it was Princess Anne’s wedding there were about 30 of us crammed into the front room of one of my gran’s neighbours, as she was the only person we knew with a colour telly. The televisions were rented and you could not afford to own one.    Now most homes have at least two televisions and  you are officially classed as living in poverty if you don’t have what would once be classed as luxuries.
It then got me thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which is like a pyramid of what motivates us and what we need to be fulfilled and happy. Maslow said that we have 5 basic needs. On the bottom layer are our physiological needs like food, water, shelter, warmth and rest. The next layer are safety needs like health, an income, personal safety etc. The pyramid builds up with a layer of social needs and belonging (family and friends), esteem needs like confidence, self-worth and accomplishment, and the top layer is self-actualisation when you have inner fulfilment.
I realised that for probably the first time in my life, I had ticked all the boxes and got to the top of the pyramid . Usually, the love and belonging bit were missing, or my self-esteem was low, which stopped me self-actualizing. It was like a light bulb moment and a great feeling and I did a jig around my kitchen. All the years I have slogged trying to build up money, a career, have people pleased to get people to accept me, and yet here I am having jumped off the roller coaster, and become my authentic self, and yet here I am ticking all the boxes and reaching self actualisation.
However, thinking about the hierarchy of needs also got me thinking about how the financial situation of the world at the moment is putting in jeopardy every one’s mental health. People dare not keep warm; some don’t have enough food, and many risk losing their homes with interest rates rising. Many don’t feel safe for various reasons which impacts on relationships. Even people’s basic needs are not being met, and not just the poor. A lot of people have been over stretched and lured into borrowing more than they can now afford to repay. It got me wondering how expectations would change and whether more people would embrace a simple life more easily, or fight against it. Change is hard, especially if it is not voluntary.
I feel kind of guilty and probably sound smug that I ticked the boxes, yesterday, but as I have learned, none of us know what is around the corner and you can be at the top of the circle of life one day, and at the bottom the next, which is why I make the most of every day. I have also learned that sometimes you have to stop fighting uphill for what you think that you want, and then what you really need will roll your way. What do you think?

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Leave A Comment