How to live a fulfilling human life?
Abraham Maslow was the first psychologist to look specifically at what it takes to live a healthy, fulfilling human life. Prior to Maslow, psychology was focussed on dealing with mental illness and abnormality. Maslow suggested that to be happy, it is not sufficient to just remove sadness.
The 6 basic Human Emotional Needs
Maslow, Victor Frankl and Tony Robbins have developed the idea that there are 6 specific emotional needs that must be met in some way by each individual human being in order for life to have a sense of fulfillment.
These 6 needs must be met in a specific order… You can’t seek variety if you don’t have any safety; you can’t seek growth if you don’t have connection and significance.
- 1. Safety & 2. Variety
- 3. Connection & 4. Significance
- 5. Contribution & 6. Growth
Video: The 6 Emotional Needs of Human Beings
Maslow investigated the ingredients of positive mental health and developed Humanistic psychology. This approach to mental health is guided by the idea that we all possess the inner resources for growth and healing.
The basic principles behind humanistic psychology are simple:
- Here and Now is Everything – How you are right now is how you are in life; how you interact with me now shows how you interact with everyone.
- You are Responsible – To be mentally healthy, individuals must take personal responsibility for their actions.
- You are Worthy – Each person is worthy. I can take negative action, this never stops me being inherently worthy as a human being.
- You Need Growth – The ultimate goal of living is personal growth.
The Journey to Fulfilment
A Fulfilling Life or Transcendence is not a state that one attains, but a constant state of becoming. Self-Actualisation is a continual process of becoming rather than a perfect state one reaches of “happy ever after”.
No matter how learned or wise you become, if you stop the journey… you lose the sense of fulfilment. This is a journey, not a destination. This is life’s great pilgrimage.
You can’t copy someone else’s fulfilling life and expect personal fulfilment… your journey will be different than every other human being. If you find yourself following another’s footsteps… be careful.