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Why do we do the things we do

"What varies is the degree of awareness we bring to the relationship

between our needs and our actions."

In the world of endless possibilities, I see people committed to such different activities - from very extreme sports to collecting old coins or obsessing over limited edition items.

There are so many niche and unique hobbies that people devote themselves to.

It's mind-boggling!

Outside the work hours - how do you spend your time?

And do you ask yourself why you do the things you do?

Majority of our days are spent working:

The biggest motivation for work, most of the times, is survival and safety.

It is rare to meet someone who is motivated by more than just the paycheck.

Ironically, even the people who carved independent role for themselves, living entrepreneurial lifestyle, working remotely- catch themselves in that same trap of

"needing to pay the bills"

Running away from 9-5 job, they find themselves working around the clock, building their business, with the sole motivation to travel more and be more free, which essentially requires to have a bigger pay-check.

According to Maslow (1943, 1954), human needs were arranged in the form of a hierarchy, with physiological (survival) needs at the bottom, and the more creative and intellectually oriented ‘self-actualization’ needs at the top.

So it makes sense that majority of people we meet choose to engage in a career/job that satisfies those core, most important needs - which is safety,

security and psychological needs.

We have friendships, relationships, communities to satisfy love and belonging need.

How about the rest of your time ?

Weekends, holidays, evenings after work..

How much of your time and effort goes into satisfying self-esteem and self-actualization?

Why someone chooses to read a book, engage in a unique hobby/passion, perhaps have an early night sleep and run in the morning while someone else chooses to engage

in "Happy Hour" and party until sunrise ?

"Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization. Unfortunately, progress is often disrupted by a failure to meet lower-level needs.

Life experiences, including divorce and the loss of a job, may cause an individual to fluctuate between levels of the hierarchy."

For so long I have chased acceptance, love, belonging and in the rear-view mirror, I see now how my lifestyle explains that.

Now I find myself in that top, self-actualization need, so I spend most of my time doing the things that foster that. For a good balance, I like to have a drink and dance until sunrise, but I am well aware that it is satisfying a very different need.

How many of us ask ourselves the question of - why do we do the things we do?

That party probably feels good at the time, but how about the morning after?

And does it in any way fit in the highest, self-actualization need, or do you find yourself stuck somewhere along the need for belonging and/or esteem ?

Remember that first step towards change is awareness, so asking questions

to yourself is crucial.

Why do I do the things I do?

Which of the needs am I satisfying?

And what stops me from elevating in that hierarchy of needs?


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