Topic: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Specific Purpose: The purpose is to allow the audience to understand how true happiness, or self-actualization, can be achieved. Introduction Attention Materials: Many times I have wondered what is true happiness. Is there such thing as true happiness? Can it even be attained if there is such a thing? Is it more of fulfilling desires, or satisfying psychological needs? Every person attempts to realize happiness in its fullest essence. It seems like today people are too busy trying to get rich. Nowadays it is believed that happiness lies in that new mansion, or a nice Ferrari.
People are mistakingly assuming that wealth will bring to them a personal significance in which they will achieve happiness. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs actually limits the relationship between happiness and material possessions. Abraham Harold Maslow is a humanist psychologist who taught at Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social Research and Columbia University. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a “bag of symptoms. ” It is believed that happiness, or self-actualization as Abraham Maslow calls it, is more of a mental and psychological thing.
If you’re a psychology major you probably heard the term a couple of times, but I’d like to expand a little more about it. Thesis Statement: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs explains that happiness is achieved through a series of steps. Preview: We will look through the steps suggested by Abraham Maslow in order to achieve true happiness. (First, lets talk about the first step of the hierarchy, the most basic of human needs. ) Body I. Maslow’s Hierarchy consists of five levels. A. Physiological needs, which are basic human needs such as hunger, thirst, and avoidance of pain. . For the most part, physiological needs are obvious – they are the literal requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body simply cannot continue to function. 2. Physiological needs are the most prepotent of all the other needs. Therefore, the human that lacks food, love, esteem, or safety would consider the food the most important. B. Safety needs, such as the need for secure housing and protection from weather. 1. With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual’s safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. 2.
In the absence of physical safety – due to war, natural disaster, or, in cases of family violence, childhood abuse, etc. – people experience post-traumatic stress disorder. 3. This level is more likely to be found in children because they have a greater need to feel safe. C. Love and Belongingness, such as emotional intimacy, friendships, and social connections. 1. After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs are interpersonal and involve feelings of belongingness. 2. People have an emotional need that they need to fulfill, and without this there will be a gap in the persons psychological wellbeing.
D. Esteem Needs, such as the need for the respect of one’s peers, status, or approval. 1. All humans have a need to be respected and to have self-esteem and self-respect. 2. People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the person a sense of contribution, to feel self-valued, be it in a profession or hobby. E. Last, but not least, Self-Actualization, which is the fulfillment of ones individual potential. 1. Since no two people are exactly alike, the drive for self-actualization leads people in different directions. . For some, self-actualization may mean creating works of art; for others, striving on the playing field, in the classroom, or in the corporate setting. 3. Not all of us climb to the top of the hierarchy; we don’t all achieve self-actualization. II. However, our needs may not be ordered in a fixed manner, as Maslow would suggest. A. An artist might go for days with little if any nourishment in order to complete a new work. B. People may limit constrain their social life to focus their energies on seeking status or prestige in their careers. C.
Maslow might counter that eventually the emptiness of their emotional lives would motivate them to fill the gap. D. Despite its limitations, Maslow’s model leads us to recognize that human behavior is motivated by higher pursuits as well as satisfaction of basic needs. (Transition: Now what does this all mean? ) III. This means that in order to actually attain happiness, a person must achieve psychological, as well as physical needs to the fullest extent of their capabilities. A. Most of us college students are in the Esteem level. 1. We all have our group of friends that we meet up with after class, or on the weekends. . And we are working on this college degree, which would one day hopefully lead us to a satisfying career. 3. What are we here for? We are here to gain prestige and achieve as much as we can to prove to others and ourselves that we are fulfilling our potential. B. When we get that position we are looking for or have a job that brings status as well as stability to our lives, then we can move on to achieving the highest level of happiness. 1. After you start a family and have a stable career to support your family with, you can begin to look for the next level of the hierarchy. 2.
That next level of hierarchy is actually realizing that you are at that level. 3. Looking back at your life realizing that you have all the other levels satisfied brings peace to your mind. 4. Bringing yourself to the highest level you can as a human being, or fulfilling your potential is what brings you that ultimate happiness. 5. Knowing that you did the most you can, as a human being will allow you relax and achieve that happiness. 6. After all, all this work and efforts your putting into school is really just in order to reach a point in life where you are satisfied with what you have done.