All humans have the same needs made unique by the combination and proportion in which we need them.
(This is the third and last article of the Churning Wheels series)
If we were to be absolutely honest with ourself, place our hand on our heart and admit. Admit to how often have have we measured ourself up against the world or others against ourself! And in doing so, we have all used accomplishments as the most handy tool for measuring and comparing. While its easy to quantify most successes and its easy to draw conclusions and arrive at results with numbers, have you wondered why?
Why are achievements the way to measure us and grade our abilities?
As one part of my two-fold plan was satisfied, I found myself at relative ease. There was one more view to explore and a decent amount of clarity on the topic if not the content. I began with what I already knew- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It is one of the most often referred to theory for understanding any behaviour and growth related situation across fields.
According to a Mr. Maslow, human needs are of five kinds, arranged in a hierarchy from basic necessities to the ones concerning higher levels of the self. The hierarchy begins with:
- Physiological Needs (food, water, sleep, sex)- at the bottom
- Safety Needs (clothing, shelter, employment, health)
- Love and Belonging Needs (family, friends, society, intimacy)
- Esteem/ Ego Needs (respect, achievement)
- Self-Actualisation (meaning, inner potential, creativity)- at the top
On the basis of this theory, it was proposed (still holds true) that all living being, irrespective of their individual differences, have the same needs. My churning wheels liked this pyramid as it helped me answer the unasked questions. But somewhere I wanted more. Something beyond the philosophy of survival.
At this point, I’m not sure if I was curious for the over-achieving yet unhappy man. Or was I curious because even I have felt dissatisfied when I had no reason to be. By now, I had repeatedly asked myself if I was truly happy. And I instantly had known that my happiness wasn’t always honest, sometimes it was just an over joyed laughter that did not touch my eyes.
So while I read further I found that the five needs are often categorised by some, under something called the ‘Trio of Needs’; namely Power, Affiliation and Achievement.
- Power: it is closely associated to the ego need of individuals. It is the boost in self-esteem when one exercises control over their surroundings or on the people around them
- Affiliation: It is similar to Maslow’s social needs. It suggests that human behaviour is strongly influenced by their desire for acceptance and to conform. The need for belonging and companionship
- Achievement: This can be related to Ego and Self-actualisation needs. It makes achievement or success feel like an end in itself.
Different people place different weightage on each of these needs; the ratio changes but rarely does anyone completely omit any. I noticed that the Trio was far more fitting for my situation because if doesn’t try to explain the basic physiological needs along with safety. It just gets to the point of where we make choices.
We do not choose whether we are hungry or sleep deprives, whether we need to feel safe or wish for a healthy functioning body; they are constant and unchanging. But we all, at multiple points, revise and rearrange our priorities. So maybe the question is about how we prioritise? Maybe it is as simple and important as asking ourselves how we feel, from time to time. And based on the answer to that we could create our ratios. The trio are the three parts of a see-saw, the centre is always the one keeping the other two ends in place and balanced.
So if I feel under-confident then temporarily I could place achievement at the centre, it will boost my self-image, improve my confidence and eventually increase my power quotient. When achievement alone stops satisfying me, I will have to ask myself again what I need, and it might be time to rearrange. When I fail to feel happiness inspite of all the success, it will be time to put achievement on the other end and let affiliations sooth me back.
And while I play see-saw, I will have to remember that my constant needs are the grass bed at the bottom- unassuming and easily taken for granted but also the one that catches me when I fall.
Have I arrived at the right answer? Do I have all the answers? Is this a go-to formula? Is it fool-proof?…. Well I’m going to find out sooner or later. Until then I’m going to ask myself about how I feel and try to remedy it as and when I feel discomfort.
Philosophy and Psychology of Branding |Solomon Managament Consultants. (2014, April 23). Retrieved November 12, 2018, from http://www.solomon-mc.com/philosophy-and-psychology-of-branding/
Schiffman, L. G., Kanuk, L. L., & Kumar, S. R. (2010). Consumer motivation. In Consumer behaviour(10th ed., pp. 88-116). Dorling kindersley (india) pvt.