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Happiness and the Hierarchy of Needs

What do we need to be happy?  Do you really need to complete a bucket list in order to achieve happiness?  How much does it take to get contentment in life?  

According to the American psychologist Abraham Maslow, there is a direct correlation between happiness and human needs.  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory is psychology that argues that there are 5 stages of human needs that actually motivate the way that we behave.  He proposed this theory way back in 1943, but really, its still very relevant to us today.

To understand this, we must first discuss the stages of human needs in Maslow’s theory:

  • Stage One – Physiological Needs:  These needs refer to one’s need to breathe, eat, drink, and sleep.  Once we are able to meet this need, we are then able to move on and be motivated by the next stage.
  • Stage Two – Safety:  It is in this need that we feel the motivation to go out and make a living.  This stage motivates us to gather resources and build shelter that will keep us safe and away from danger. 
  • Stage Three – Love and Belonging:  At this stage, we seek the feeling of being loved and belonging.  After achieving the state of feeling safe, we then seek being with our family, being loved, and belonging to a community.  But let’s be honest, human behaviour is a funny thing.  Once we feel that we belong to a society or a group, we begin to feel the need to be different from the rest of the pack, which then leads us to the next human need.
  • Stage Four – Esteem:  At this stage, we seek for self-confidence and have the need to get respect from our group.  We feel the need to be with someone who makes us feel special.  If we have money, we go out and buy things that will make us happy.  If you have the ability to perform a certain exercise routine, you work and make sure you are the one who is able to make the most reps.  Your motivation at this stage is to compete and be the best in what you do is at the highest
  • Stage Five – Self Actualization: According to Maslow, it is only when you can breathe, have enough food and sleep, feel safe, be a part of a group and yet have your own sense of self that you can move on to the final stage.  At this stage, you can finally relax, afford to be creative, give back, or do whatever you wish.  Once you have reached this stage, you feel no more pressure.

When it comes to fitness, it is important for both you and your personal trainer to understand at which stage you are.  Why?  Simply because the way you behave towards fitness, your actions, as well as your lifestyle can be better understood once we are able to identify which stage you are in.  In doing so, your personal trainer can suggest better ways to motivate you and help you achieve your fitness goals.

Do you feel that you have trouble getting motivated to reach your fitness goals?  Call us today at Rushcutters Health and schedule a Health and Fitness Game Plan