What are the human needs? Why do most of us human beings go to work each day, why do we live with a partner, why do we have children? What are we trying to achieve in all of this? What indeed are we striving for? Is it merely to obtain food, to procreate, or do we want to purchase as many objects as possible, possess company shares, make careers for ourselves, go down in history, exercise power over others?
Much has already been written on the objectives and origins of human actions, we want here therefore to extract what we believe to be the most important of the different theories and to add our own thoughts to this.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a theory in psychology that Abraham Maslow proposed in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended. His theory contends that as humans meet 'basic needs', they seek to satisfy successively 'higher needs' that occupy a set hierarchy. Article originally from Wikipedia, but shortened version.
Does it do any good for Africans suffering from drought if I reduce my personal water consumption? Why should I reduce the CO2 emissions and save energy? Does it reduce starvation anywhere in the world if I eat less?
Living in moderation is «out» because it seems to be full of deprivations and limitations. Read here why it is on the contrary rather full of opportunities for the personal development. It is an indispensable precondition to get in perpetual harmony, joy and (self-)confidence.
We saw an increasing number of people searching for keywords like the meaning of life, purpose of life, spirit of life, philosophy of life, etc. on our site. Therefore we thought it could be helpful to write some sort of overview or summary where you can find information about the meaning of life on this site.
The question about the meaning of life is probably as old as human beings. And it is a very fundamental question, too. You shouldn't expect anybody to answer this question in one simple sentence. You have to deal yourself with questions about the meaning of life and with spirituality. Over time you will then hopefully find your own answer to the meaning of life. What matters most for you is actually the meaning and purpose of your own life and not a very general meaning of life.
It is naturally the free choice of every person as to whether he would like to develop further towards living the basic rights of existence. If he should affirm that he does, it is again entirely his choice as to how and when and in what way he should start this process. The free choice of everyone is respected but every one of us is also responsible for the consequences of his decision.
In other words: According to the needs which we wish to satisfy, we should select our goals from the corresponding hierarchical level. What sounds so simple and logical is however frequently a cause of disappointment in our personal development: Needs and objectives don’t correspond but often even contradict each other in a flagrant way.
Figure 1: The pyramid of personal development
The pyramid represents the sense of harmony and unity within ourselves and with the environment to which we aspire. The individual building blocks of the pyramid are lessons we have already successfully completed, i.e. the ability we have already learned of how to live the basic rights of existence. As soon as the top of the pyramid has been built to the necessary height and the whole structure has been cleanly rendered the highest goal can be said to have been reached: The respective person is then in perpetual harmony with himself and his environment.
As can be seen from the above examples, very many of us are – as a rule unconsciously – looking for ways of achieving personal harmony, the top step in the priority list of human needs. Something draws us, we want to «find ourselves», «experience something» often without really knowing ourselves what we mean by this.
In no other branch of industry are the needs of human beings so intensively investigated than in advertising. If it is known what the potential consumer group which purchases a given product or service really strives for, where these people set their highest priorities, it is possible to respond exactly to these needs in the advertising and hence earn lots of money!
The striving for harmony and happiness, for a life spent in love and peace is therefore frequently exploited in advertising: First we see a suffering person who has an affliction, an illness or a problem, then a product (pill, ointment, food, drink, car, washing powder, software, computer, telephone, holiday place etc.) and finally we see the same person who – thanks to the use of the product shown - is happy. Often too the happy person is shown together with the product. Just try sometime to deliberately observe how frequently the advertising messages are set up in this way regardless of the product on offer.