The Theory Of Human Motivation And Man’s Pursuit For Purpose

I’ve iterated it countless times that “the priorities of a man define his life.”

In 1943, American Psychologist, Abraham Maslow wrote in his paper, “The Theory of Human Motivation,” about the hierarchy of human needs. His model adopted a pyramid shape of positioning human needs. At the bottom of the chain, we have basic human needs, while self-actualization tops the hierarchy.

The higher the pyramid, the smaller the size of the population at a component need. The practical implication implies that the bulk of the human population is driven by mere human wants.

Abraham Maslow’s ladder shows a functional relationship between human interactions and the respective motivations. That is, human interaction (the things we do) is driven by our respective psychological needs.

For many of us, our main survival instinct hinges on the struggle to afford basic human needs (food, clothing & shelter). And, once we can afford these trio, our basis of human existence is fulfilled (at least, in our minds).

But, is that the ultimate human need? Hell, No.

Swarms of economic theories had postulated about how “human wants are unlimited.” And that’s pretty visible.

One thing the hierarchy of needs fails to show is the insatiable force that drives man to climb the pyramid upward, each time he clears a level. The moment a man can comfortably afford a need, he starts craving for more, and he tend to climb the ladder further till he gets to his psychological limit.

At the end of the upward ascent, man starts looking for self-actualization, a term I refer to as purpose.

This explains why the bulk average man is driven by the basic human wants, while a few of the human race is driven by self actualization. After getting all other human needs, man starts looking to fulfill a purpose.

This is why you wonder why some certain wealthy people go into politics, despite their level of affluence. It’s not about the money, it’s about the satisfaction of an ego motivated by self-actualization.

However, you should know that one can chase purpose (self-actualization) directly and in the long run, you get rewarded with the rest of the needs down the pyramid.

And that takes us to the question, “What is that need that drives you?”

The basis of your human existence. What is that need that motivates you to keep surviving?

That thing is your priority, and in the long run, it defines your life, and your ultimate destiny.

Remember, I said at the start that your priorities define your life and actions. It’s time to redefine those priorities. Thank you!

Kindly share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

2 thoughts on “The Theory Of Human Motivation And Man’s Pursuit For Purpose”

    • Hey Mark!
      There are few ways one can identify his life’s purpose. One effective way is by inner reflection.
      You begin to ask yourself some questions.
      What are my abilities? What am I passionate about? What do I want to be remembered for when I die?
      Reflecting on those thoughts will help you to identify your purpose of existence.

      We’ll have to publish a more elaborate article to hit the question harder.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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