March 31, 2018
The 7 Basic Human Needs
In order to do anything, we must be motivated. There is no other way we will do something. Even coercion is a form of motivation. If we are threatened, we are motivated out of the desire to protect ourselves. However, threatening and coercion most times yields negative results and resentment, maybe even fear. But regardless of the situation, most people are motivated by 7 basic desires. These desires are so strong; they could also be called needs.
People want for:
Family and positive relationships
The feeling of importance and/or purpose
There is one need above all others that affects happiness. And that’s the last one: the feeling of importance. This deep, unyielding desire sets human beings apart from other animals. It is what we strive for and what makes or breaks us. It’s part of the ego, part of what’s been instilled in us. Think about birthdays, even as a three year old child. Your parents usually threw a big party for you, right? There are balloons, cake, and everyone sings happy birthday to you, so you feel important. When we’re older, in high school we engage in activities, play sports and desire to be prom King or Queen. When we’re adults we go above and beyond in our work, so we’ll be recognized by our peers as important. We’re all looking for it, were all looking for that validation.
We long to be recognized in our work, appreciated by our families, and complimented by strangers. The sincerest appreciation can carry us for days, making our world seem brighter and happier, motivating us to go forward so that we can receive that appreciation again. Sincere appreciation can be remembered and cherished for years, over the lifetime of its recipient.
To the other extreme, being chronically under-appreciated or feeling unimportant can lead to insanity. No joke. When dreams are better than reality, many people have historically gone insane. At the very least, I think all of us can relate to “feeling insane” or feeling like you’re “going crazy” when you’re not appreciated or noticed.
How the desire to feel important defines your character
How you achieve your feeling of importance determines your values. Does donating to charity make you feel like a good person? Does shoplifting make you feel like you were sneaky enough to get away with something? Does sleeping around make you feel wanted? Does your faith make you feel valuable to a supernatural being or give you eternal purpose? Where do you achieve your feeling of importance?
It’s an important question. In fact, if you’re not sure where you derive your feeling of importance, I suggest you take out a pen and paper and start making a list of things that make you feel good about yourself. When you’re going through heartache take a step back and ask yourself, why do I feel upset?
It’s likely that it’s because you wanted to feel important and somebody just made you feel the opposite. This awareness is powerful! Don’t take things personally. Remember that you are important! You don’t necessarily need that pat on the back from a parent or your peers, of course it feels good, but it’s not needed. You are important just being a human being on this earth. Especially if you’re a kind individual and you’re providing value to the world in some sort of way.
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