Personal Security: How Do You Get It?
During the process of one's personal growth, which is lifelong, one of the foremost questions you ask yourself is what do you really need to feel secure? Everyone who has ever taken a college class has no doubt heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This pyramid diagram divides an individual’s needs into five categories: physiological, safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. This article will look closer at each level and also what you need to feel secure at each level.
The lowest level on the totem pole, or pyramid, is the physiological needs of all humans. This includes food, water, rest, warmth. Water is for the most part still free (for now). That just leaves food, warmth, and rest. Any roof over your heard is technically a blessing, even if it is a homeless shelter; granted it may not seem like it if you ever have to live in one, but stuff happens. If you ever do have to live in one then you are usually not as picky about where you live when you establish an income and move out. Since rent is the largest expense, one way to feel secure financially is to find the cheapest place in which you can stand to live. Learn how to be creative, buy food in bulk, and don’t eat out so much and you can stretch your food budget. This will be more nourishing and keep your stress levels low, which will enable proper rest. Those that have higher levels of income are usually not as secure, especially if they get into a lot of debt by taking on mortgages and car payments. Theoretically, you can have more money by learning how to live simple than you can by chasing after the dollar, and have more security in the process because you don’t need as much to live on.
Moving up to the next level involves more than just having our physiological needs met. This level involves our safety needs. We want to be somewhere where we feel safe because this adds security to our lives and makes us less stressed out. Generally the neighborhoods that are deemed “affordable” have a higher crime rate because anybody can live there, even the criminal element. But you can shop around and find a decent neighborhood that is affordable with a low crime rate. In many cases the people who live in these neighborhoods are more down to earth and laid-back because they tend to work harder being they are usually less educated.
Midway up the ladder of personal growth, as seen from the infamous hierarchy of needs, is where you get to the real meaning of life; relationships. Everybody’s greatest need is not money or anything else material or physical. Mankind’s greatest need is to be love and accepted. This is the real reason kids get off to a bad start in life by joining gangs; because they never felt accepted and usually grew up in broken homes. When you get involved in your community, or your church, you begin to form relationships. This is what gives meaning to your life. Even Victor Frankl said in Mankind’s Search for Happiness that we find our meaning in life by helping others to find theirs.
Very few people make it to the second to last ladder of needs in their journey of personal growth, if they are even on it at all (everyone is to some degree whether they know it or not). This step is esteem or prestige needs. It is typically fulfilled through being established in your work and being where you want to be in life. Although many are in their jobs solely for the money, those types are going to miss their purpose if they have nothing else besides a big checking account. Money alone can’t bring security because it can disappear in a heartbeat. Those who have to hustle their bread for a living no how hard this is and appreciate the value of money more. Likewise they are less likely to chase after it and get themselves into debt. They can usually fulfill their esteem needs through performing some job in the service sector for less money.
The top of the triangle of needs is rarely reached by the masses. This is where you are genuinely happy where you are at in life. You feel as if you have lived a full life. This is the pinnacle of personal growth. It is the pursuit of happiness that everyone strives for and few reach because they don’t put personal growth as a priority in life. You don’t have to be a CEO or any other type of executive to reach this step. All that is needed is the ability to make a comfortable living for yourself and for your family while making a difference in the world around you.
Achieving personal growth goals isn’t dependent on your station in life. Each person in the world is different and there is something for everybody. If someone comes from humble means then they could feel just as secure living in a homeless shelter (temporarily hopefully) as a CEO. Especially with all the responsibility that the latter has on them. The pinnacle of personal growth is self-actualization when you are truly happy with who you are and what you are doing with your life.
- Erwin Bishop
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