Cats aren’t the only ones who have nine lives. Depending on how long you live, you could easily have two or three chances to forge new careers, develop substantial new relationships, live in different cities (or even countries). How you steer these lives is up to you. Your roots are your foundation. They prepare you for what lies ahead, but each of you will have your own path and steps to take. In the next several weeks, I will be writing about each of our human needs with the aim of uncovering how to recognize your requirements and, armed with that knowledge, how to take control of your life.
This advice is not only my own. Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist, known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health based on satisfying human needs in a particular order, resulting in self-actualization. His research focused on the positive qualities in people, instead of the negative, the higher functioning individuals versus those who suffered from what he termed “a bag of symptoms.”
The Five Hierarchy of Needs are:
Life can be hard. Among your various good times, you will be met with a great many obstacles, large and small. And if you accept this fact going into it, you’re ahead of the game. As a professional coach for women in their careers and life, I ask them, “How do you plan to do this life?
Rule #1: Start with the Basics
According to Maslow, before a person can move on to human need number two: your basic needs must be met: the attainment of food, water, sleep, and sex. This sounds easy enough. But is it? Many are struggling in this country just to put food on the table, let alone live with healthy habits. Without the bare necessities covered, safety, love and belonging are just out of reach.
When you’re starting out, it all comes down to money and a room of your own. As a daughter of Argentine immigrants who had very little coming into this country, I know this to be true. As she worked for every penny, my mother pounded in my head that, “Money is security and independence.” She wanted me, and my brother and sister, to have what Maslow professed. Food on the table first, and with time, safety, love, esteem and self-actualization will follow, bringing with them the freedom to live your life as you choose.
For those coming right out of school (at any level) or just starting out on your own as adults, the decision is yours. How are you going to tend to your basic needs without relying on anyone else? Can you find enough work as you pursue your education, to pay for food and shelter? I remember at 16 years of age, holding my first paycheck in my hands, working as a cashier at a movie theatre. I was on my way, saving and spending, only as needed.
Stability and peace of mind are essential states for humans to survive and thrive. Stick to the basics and you’ll see that you’re on your way to living a stable and independent life.