The sun may be shining outside, but today it’s just convenient light for my endeavors. Forget shaving – nothing more than bladed procrastination. Every space of my usually unused desk is filled with words and subjects that normally I’d discard for…pretty much anything else. And today I care. Honestly.
It’s assignment day.
One of the hardest aspects of doing a part-time degree is that every second of this part of my time comes out of my days off from work. I want to relax, but I want to pass this course more. It’s an odd sort of motivation – the kind where you want to reach your destination but resent every inch of the journey to get there. I hate assignments. So very much. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m not motivated to do this assignment because there are other things that I’m more motivated to do.
Maslow’s theory is that motivation is based on psychological need. We feel the tension when our needs are not met and want to correct it. He believed that we are all motivated by the same things but that there are different levels of need:
Physiological needs – these are our basic requirements for survival.
The need for Safety – the need for physical, financial and emotional stability in our lives.
Social needs – if we are able to survive and have fulfilled our need for safety, we then need to fulfill our need for interpersonal relationships. Our need for friends and family is here.
The need for Esteem – we need to feel like we belong to something. We need to feel respected and we need to have self-esteem.
Self-Actualisation – this need is about realising what your full potential is and reaching your full potential and the desire for more. This cannot be satisfied in the way that other needs can.
(I would argue that we also have a need for God in our lives, but for the purposes of this blog post, I’m not going to go there.)
I think this explains why I don’t feel motivated to work today. I’ve fulfilled my physiological needs along with my need for safety, but being locked away in my room severely inhibits my social needs. However, my need for esteem, coupled with the knowledge that there will come a time where that need will be fulfilled is enough that I can postpone my social needs until later. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs relates to much more than a one off assignment, but it’s an example that works nonetheless.
Are there any examples of this in your own life? I’d love to hear what you think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If you’ve read this post, I’d really appreciate you taking the time to respond!
Don’t leave me hanging!