Monday, February 15, 2010

Basic needs

We all have basic needs.

Abraham Maslow (April 1st 1908 - June 8th 1970) was an influential and inspirational figure in the field of human psychology. In 1943 his hierarchy of needs was published in his paper entitled 'A theory of human motivation'. The hierarchy of needs forms a pyramid - much like the old style food pyramid - with the most basic needs forming the foundation of the pyramid.

Maslow says that we need each layer of the pyramid, in order, and that we will not progress to worrying about building the next layer before we have laid a solid foundation of the preceeding layer.

Maslow's hierarchy builds as follows:
Our first and most basic needs are physiological : water, food, sleep, etc
The second level is concerned with safety : shelter, personal and family security, health, employment,etc
The third need is for love and a sense of belonging : family, friends
The fourth level is for esteem : respect for and of others, achievement, confidence
And the fifth level is self actualisation : morality, creativity, acceptance, altruism.

Now, if we could look at the food pyramid, and only help ourselves to the next food group once we have established a strong foundation of the preceeding group on our plate, we would all be slimmer and healthier!
The layers in the food pyramid, in case you have forgotten, build in this order:
Grains and starches : Fruit and vegetables : Meats, beans, eggs and nuts : Dairy : Fats and sugars

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