Life Path as a Spiral of Ordered Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs describes how people’s deficiency becomes a salient need in a particular order. The theory is proved helpful for understanding drivers, needs, and motivation roles for personal growth. In the essay, I discuss the theoretical part of the concept and then support my findings by personal experience. Let us take a closer look at Maslow’s theory first.

I use the material of the video Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs | Limitations | to get deeper into details. The hierarchy pyramid consists of five levels: 

Phycological. If the needs are not satisfied, the human body cannot function optimally.

Safety. People want to experience orderpredictability, and control in their lives.

Love. It involves feelings of belongingness and the need for interpersonal relationships.

Esteem. For Oneself (dignity, achievement) plus Desire for reputation and respect (prestige, status)

 Self-Actualization. Realization of the potential and self-fulfillment.

An individual takes the next step as his previous level is satisfied. According to Maslow, each person can reach the highest level of the hierarchy and climb to the top of the pyramid. From my perspective, the process is more a cyclical or spiral curve than a straight line upwards. Alternatively, people may fluctuate between levels due to external circumstances, or the order might differ due to individual differences. Furthermore, there is a term as multi-motivated behavior as sometimes the person achieves several levels simultaneously. The exciting fact how Maslow depicts 15 characteristics of a self-actualized person; there are a few of them I consider attractive and want to relate to:

_ Perceive reality efficiently;

_ Can tolerate uncertainty;

_ Accept themselves the others for what they are;

_ Spontaneous in thought and action;

_ Problem-centered (vs. self-centered);

_ Unusual sense of humor;

_ Highly creative;

_ Establish deep satisfying interpersonal relationships with a few people;

_ Need privacy.

By talking about criticisms of the theory, there are a few aspects are worth mentioning. First, the operational definition of a self-actualized person is a subject for dispute for the biased biological analysis, personal esteems, and limited variables of the control group. Another concern arises on the order of level achievements as this is not always the case, and the order of the hierarchy might be even incorrect or simply flexible.

(Myers, 2020)

Back to my experience, it is perplexing. Before I had watched the video, I believed the level of Esteem is a key objective in my professional life. I am seeking recognition and respect in my career; having a purpose, status, being the right worker in the right workplace, and being well paid. Once I had completed the theoretical part of the essay, it came to me that the Love level triggered my attention, for I am struggling for having close relationships based on vulnerability and empathy. Here is the rub, it is the same need for esteem and respect but on a personal level. Thus, I would conclude that I am currently trying to achieve the fourth level while my Love need has not been completed yet. Paying attention to the fact that “progress is often disrupted by a failure to meet lower level needs”, I assume there is a spot where I am stuck because I could not solve the problem with the wrong solution (Myers, 2020).

I want to thank you for the assignment as there are some priorities I plan to reconsider in my life. Even check up on the two previous levels of resources, emotional and financial security to make sure my growth goes as smooth as possible.


Myers Life Coaching (2020, September 23). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs | Limitations | [Video]. YouTube.

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