Have you heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?
According to Maslow, our hierarchy of needs includes 5 levels: our most basic needs and self-actualization needs. It resembles a pyramid, with needs listed in order of their appearance in our development and dominance in our life’s journey.
In general, Maslow classified needs into survival oriented (physiological ones, safety and security needs, love and belonging needs, and esteem needs) and growth oriented.
Maslow theorized that if a lower need is not met, this ties up the focus of our attention around meeting this need, and hinders the next stage of our development and growth.
Maslow believed that our growth is fueled with our desire for self actualization, the striving for the fulfillment of our potential, the continual expanding of our awareness, and the growth of our being.
While research does not generally support the order of Maslow’s presented needs (for example the need for love has been found to be stronger than the need for esteem across many populations), research does support classifying needs into deficiency, or growth oriented.
Deficiency and Growth Needs
Many a time, our focus can be on a deficiency need. Perhaps our self-esteem took a blow and we feel stuck thinking about what others think about us.
Perhaps we are chasing belongingness and love (been there, done that). Perhaps we are focusing our energy on feeling safe and secure.
Maslow suggested that an excessive focus on meeting deficiency needs keeps us from attending to our “higher goal” of self-actualization.
A judgmental attitude, for example, that hints at an overriding need for esteem, is a common barriers that gets in the way of our day-to-day creativity.
Purposefully refocusing on the joy of growth
Many psychologists suggest that CREATIVITY is a powerful route for purposefully refocusing on our self-actualization.
Maslow himself created the term self actualization creativeness, suggesting that making use of every day creativity across many aspect of or day-to-day life (our leisure, parenting, work, artistic pursuits, cooking, even cleaning), facilitates a connection with ourselves and expands our awareness. Maslow suggested that creativity springs forth from the core of our humaneness, our personality, our being!
Creativity expands our perception beyond the confines of our expectations, roles, mental constructs, or routines, and grows our imagination.
Creativity and Mindfulness
Professor Ellen Langer suggests that creativity and mindfulness go hand and hand, and that being present in the moment, with compassionate, non-judgmental awareness, a sense of connection to one-self, flow (feeling one with the enjoyment of what we are doing), has a strong relationship with health, life satisfaction, and emotional wellness.
Engaging in creativity, for the pure joy of doing so, helps us to lay to rest our inner critic, our tendency to judge, our outcome-focus, and helps us to learn to bring joy and curiosity back to our lives, as we open our mindsets to ”venturing into the unknown.”
Your mission should you chose to accept it
Without rules, judgement, or expectations, simply with the motivation to savor the joy of immersing yourself in a creative process, in the here and now; I would love to challenge you to touch your being and make time this week to indulge in creativity.
Consider your week’s motto “Just for the joy of it.”
Personally, I gathered some autumn leaves on the weekend and can’t wait to put together a messy, wonderful, autumn collage with my son.
Have fun guys,
Bozena is a Multi Award-Winning Author / Counseling Psychologist, founder o Personal Power Academy. PPA empowers / coaches / mentors individuals who want to reclaim control of their mindset, self-worth, and inner experience; within Christian values. www.bozenazawisz.com