Leadership, Young Professionals

Time to over-turn Maslow's Hierarchy?

Abraham Maslow gave us insights into human needs. His work is often portrayed as a pyramid where the lower needs have to be satisfied in order to put attention on the next level up.

 Classic Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

Classic Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

If Maslow’s hierarchy represents the amount of time and effort spent by a person, surely it’s time to invert the pyramid? 

 Today's view of Maslow's Hierarchy, reflecting the needs of affluent Western cultures.

Today's view of Maslow's Hierarchy, reflecting the needs of affluent Western cultures.

Does the pyramid this way up represent the huge aspirations that 21st Century woman and man possess to achieve their potential, to avoid loneliness, and to feel important? 

The lower levels are largely taken for granted in Western cultures.  More than ever, technology and society ensure we have the basic two levels covered.  Collectively, humans can and must do what only they can do to meet the top three levels – love, do what matters in the world, and generate something that helps others. 

Millions of people in the world still do not have their basic needs me.  Perhaps this can change when the pyramid of human needs represents society as a whole rather than the individual self.