When it comes to motivation, we are all wired differently . Have you ever noticed how our wants and needs can be the driving force behind what motivates us? I find it interesting though, that we can have such differences when it comes to motivation.

Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist, helped us to understand the nature of human motivation throughout his studies. He came up with something he coined, the ‘hierarchy of needs.’

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, all human behavior is based on achieving a desired goal. Maslow shared that motivation, is the result of a person’s attempt at fulfilling five basic needs:

  • physiological
  • safety
  • social
  • esteem, and
  • self-actualization.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Physiological
Everyone deserves basic needs such as water, food and shelter. They make a person feel safe and secure. These speak to our livelihood and survival, and we will do just about anything to meet those needs.

Safety
The safety of our families, properties and things we love motivate us to protect them. If someone is out to hurt a loved one of mine, watch out! Mama bear will come and get you!

Social
Humans are social beings, we love connecting with others and being around others. When you feel love, affection, friendship, and connection with others, you will continue to seek those things out.

Esteem
These needs relate to the desire for self-respect, recognition, and respect from others.

Self-Actualization
These are the needs of the highest order, meaning that a person who is looking for these needs has already satisfied the previous four. These needs might include social service, meditation, and self-care.

Over the next few posts, I’ll be breaking down different types of motivation and exploring the idea of understanding WHAT motivates you, in the hopes that it might help you reach your goals.

When it comes to your personal motivation style, where does it fit into Maslow’s hierarchy? Are you motivated by your social surroundings or is it self actualization? Knowing this can really help you in your relationships and work!

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