Meeting Your Key Human Needs: Live Your Best Life
Living your best life means that you have met all your key human needs. According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, there are five levels of key human needs:
- Love and Belonging
Physiological needs are the needs of air, food, water, and sleep. These are needs that must be met for you to be alive. Safety needs involve personal physical safety in your neighborhood and work and financial security, and access to healthcare.
The need for love and belonging moves beyond your physical needs into your mental and emotional needs. Humans are social creatures who have an innate need to be connected to each other. How well you connect with others influences your esteem needs. How you view yourself, for example, your confidence and values, are your esteem needs.
Once these four levels of needs have been met, a person can meet the highest level of need – the need for self-actualization. Self-actualization is living your best life. When you meet this need, you have a purpose and are using your talents to the fullest. Self-actualization allows you to feel complete and fulfilled so you can live your best life.
How to Meet Your Key Needs
Life is a journey. Along that journey, you will face challenges, choices, and obstacles. How you react and the decisions you make affect how well you meet your needs. It is essential to meet your needs as you travel along your life’s path. At each stage, there are ways you can work toward meeting your needs.
As an adult, you meet your physiological needs by being employed. The money you earn provides the means to buy food and shelter. Children and those who cannot care for themselves get their needs met through social and government programs. They need to seek out resources to help them meet their needs.
The air, food, and water you consume also needs to be healthy. To meet this need, you must make healthy choices about what you eat and drink. Each person’s responsibility is to contribute to a healthy environment by practicing cleanliness and being responsible for natural resources. Until you meet your physiological needs, it is hard to focus on other, higher-level needs.
Once you have the basics to sustain life, you need to have a safe environment. Growing up, you learn what you can physically do to keep yourself safe. Education and learning allow you to secure a better job, providing more financial security. A lack of safety can lead to mental health issues from stress. A person needs to feel safe to move to the next level of need.
Love and Belonging Needs
People need human companionship. As a key human need, the need for love, belonging, and acceptance by others helps support a positive view of yourself and the world. Children are taught social norms and how to be polite to help them navigate human interactions. Being a good listener, having empathy, and living in service to others are all ways to meet your need for love and belonging.
When a person has basic necessities, feels safe, has social support, they can meet their esteem needs. As part of a social group, people build support and confidence, allowing them to grow as humans. The need for esteem involves recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, working towards improvement as a person, and viewing yourself with a positive, growth mindset. Meditation, journaling, and practicing gratitude, and being present are ways to fill your esteem needs.
A study by Harvard University showed that feeling a sense of purpose is key to fulfillment, happiness, and longer life. Once your other needs have been met, you can focus and commit to being the person you are meant to be. When you are happy and fulfilled, you are living your best life.
Make your life journey powerful and complete by working hard to meet your key human needs. As you learn and grow, you will develop purpose and live your best life.