Fooling Maslow

Written October 8th, 2018

Maslow's Hierarchy has been a recent topic in my management class. I have seen the graphic previously, but never devoted time to it. The structure is intuitive, and indeed observable in the field, but can it be re-ordered to serve the subject? Must the prisoner or the slave be fed to feel loved? Must the biker be safe to feel esteemed? And must the vagrant have shelter so he can actualize?

Maslow, I disagree.

I posit that the hierarchy of a person is subjective, and derived of values in that person's life structure. As supplement, I further propose that the extent of needs is based on peripherals and environment; the magnitude of needs is dependent, and therefore, subjective.

I personally value self-actualization above my physiological well-being. There will be times when I am awake for 2 days working, and I will regularly fast for 20-30 hours, not for fat-burning, but because I forget to eat. It is here that I notice my value structure is in favour of actualization. I am Maslow's antithesis, as are many peculiars around the world.

There are the cold-hearted, the psychopaths, and the narcissists, who value most things above love and belonging. But I need not digress too far into abnormalities to prove Maslow's Hierarchy does not always hold true. I am rather interested in how one can twist it to complement personal goals, and the implications of this. Can we reorganize our hierarchies?

The point of reorganization stems from internal conviction. Lets hold that actualization is the order we want to establish as our primary drive, perhaps a step above physiological. If our internal conviction deduces that some personal project will expand the bounds of our being, then our survival mechanism will place weight into this goal. There must be the limitations to this, of course, but beyond preliminary requirements, it is at the point of our internal conviction that we hold a hand above Maslow.

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