There Has to be More

There Has to be More

Have you ever had any of the following thoughts?

  • I know I’m capable of more.
  • I feel like I have so much untapped potential.
  • How can I be more passionate about what I’m doing?
  • Why do I set the same goals over and over only to fall short?
  • I’ve achieved most of my goals, why do I feel so unfulfilled?
  • What is my purpose in life?
  • Is this all there is?
  • There has to be more!

Why Are So Many People Unfulfilled

We live in an abundant world, and by almost every measure we are living a more and more prosperous life.  And, yet it seems that despite the luxuries available to most people, we are more and more unfulfilled.

Have you ever achieved some goals only to ask, “Is that all there is.?”

Maybe you’ve had a good measure of success, but have an empty feeling?

Have you ever felt unfulfilled?

Why is that?

It’s because there is a difference between success and fulfillment.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote an article for Psychology Review entitled A Theory of Human Motivation.[1] In that paper, he proposed that there’s a hierarchy of human needs.

The Needs

Here is a list of the human needs identified by Maslow:

  • Physiological needs – The most basic needs, which include food and shelter.
  • Safety needs – These include health, wellbeing, security, and the financial ability to provide those essentials.
  • Social needs – These needs are about love and belonging, and include family, friendship and intimacy.
  • Esteem needs – Included here are recognition, status, and importance.  These needs are about achievement and success.
  • Self-Actualization – This need is about reaching one’s full potential.  It is about purpose.

The Hierarchy

The needs are typically met in sequential order.  You are not likely to care about recognition and status if you don’t have enough food and water.  But, as you reach your most basic needs, you will typically start to pursue safety needs.  People usually strive to move up the ladder of needs.

Once you satisfy the requirements of one level, there is a longing to move to the next level.  In our current society, most people have the first two levels of needs met.  And, many if not most people have their social needs met, too.

So, we currently live in a society where most people are focused on pursuing their esteem needs – recognition, status, and importance.  We are a society of achievers, living in abundance.

So, why then does it seem that so many people are frustrated, even miserable?  It’s because, as you meet your esteem needs, you start to want the next level.  Esteem needs begin to feel empty and shallow.  You’re longing for something more fulfilling and purposeful.  You long for Self-Actualization.

You Are on this Planet for a Purpose

Everyone, including you, has a unique set of values, characteristics, abilities, and experience.  We all have a unique purpose.

When our thoughts, goals, and actions align with that purpose, we experience fulfillment.  We experience meaning in our life.  We begin to live in significance.

Moving Up The Ladder

There is a sequence of success.  One moves from survival, striving to fulfill the basic and safety needs, to stability.  Once we are in stability, we focus on social needs.  Once we reach stability, we begin to long for success  – the esteem needs.  And, once we meet those needs, we want to experience significance, self-actualization.

Where are you on the ladder?  If you are struggling to meet your basic and safety needs, don’t focus on significance.  But, if your basic, safety, social and esteem needs are met, it may be time to concentrate on fulfilling your purpose.

More on how to accomplish that coming soon, stay tuned.

What Do You Think?

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