any progress is possible on a path of personal development, motivation
must be established. Abraham Maslow identified a range of motivation
which he rated on an ascending scale:
needs for oxygen, food, water and a relatively constant body
temperature. These needs are the strongest because if deprived, the
person would die.
2. Safety and
often display signs of insecurity and their need to be safe. Adults,
too, need the security of a home and means of income, and often have an
underlying fear that these may be lost, e.g. in war or times of social
unrest, or due to misfortune. Fear is the opposite flow to need.
Accompanying any need for something is an equivalent fear of losing or
not obtaining it.
includes the need for mastery to be able to get one’s own way, to
establish some control over one’s situation and environment, to express
some degree of personal power, to be able to communicate and obtain
objectives. And the need for love, affection and belonging. People need
to escape feelings of loneliness and alienation and to give (and
receive) love and affection, and to have a sense of belonging with high
quality communication (with understanding and empathy).
need to feel good about themselves, to feel that they have earned the
respect of others, in order to feel satisfied, self confident and
valuable. If these needs are not met, the person feels inferior, weak,
helpless and worthless.
is our need to develop to our full potential, to be creative, to feel
we are contributing something worthwhile, to be one’s true self, to
know the truth, to feel ecstasy. It is about fulfilling one’s purposes
in life, a full expression of our creative potential. It is to be
autonomous and fully-functioning. If these needs are not met, a person
feels restless and frustrated, even if successful in other respects.
reason that a person does not move through the needs to
self-actualization is because of the hindrances placed in their way by
society. For example, education can act to inhibit a person’s potential
(though also of course it can promote personal growth). So can other
aspects of the family and culture act to condition and funnel an
individual into a role that is not fulfilling. To escape this
conditioning, a person has to awaken to their situation, to realize
that their life could be different, that there are changes that can be
made in the direction of self-actualization.
To promote our
personal growth, we can learn to be authentic, to be aware of our inner
selves and to hear our inner feelings and needs. We can begin to
transcend our own cultural conditioning and become world citizens. We
can help our children discover their talents and creative skills, to
find the appropriate career and complementary partner. We can
demonstrate that life is precious, that there is joy to be experienced
in life, and that if one is open to seeing the good - and humorous - in
all kinds of situations, this makes life worth living.
one further need that Maslow didn’t mention. Though he probably
intended it to be included as a self-actualization need, really it
deserves its own category. This is...
6. The need
for a higher truth
is the need to make contact with the creative force that is beyond the
human personality, to make sense of all the suffering and injustices of
the survival struggle on earth. This need has been evident in all
cultures, expressed by all religions, and is the spiritual path towards
enlightenment, towards knowing God, towards discovering the truth of
All That Is.
It is only by having at least a glimmer of this
spirituality that we each are part of, that we can aspire to the
highest potential of being human. To be able to genuinely love and to
forgive unconditionally, we need to see in all others - even our
enemies - the same essential quality that we ourselves are part of.
Spirituality is a transpersonal quality, it is beyond the Ego and
obsession with the self. It is the maturity of intuition.
path of personal transformation is primarily a process of becoming
aware of, facing up to and taking responsibility for one’s thoughts,
feelings and actions, and then expanding this self-realization by
communicating with others, retaining integrity whatever the response,
and further enhancing the quality of communication with ever-increasing
empathy and understanding. Through understanding others better, we can
recognize their essential goodwill, however misguided it might have
become, and begin to recognize the spirituality of humankind.
|Visit Peter's website