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What do YOU Need? Part I


WHAT DO YOU NEED? Part I

By Dr. Robert Levine, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist


What is a “need”? A “need” can be defined as something that is “wanted or required.” Essentially when it comes to needs, “don’t talk to me about anything else until certain needs are met!” Needs, believe it or not, are VERY individualized and they fluctuate based on stages of our life. Babies need food, safety, and some love. As individuals get older, such as in high school and college, their basic needs of food and safety may be met but the type of love they receive is likely different. The child’s parents may love them unconditionally but the expression of love often waxes and wanes by the circumstances. A teenage child who breaks something valuable may have some love withdrawn but when that same child gets accepted to college, that love may be added.


Abraham Maslow nicely illustrated this in his hierarchy of needs. We have basic “Physiological needs” such as having food and water and basic “Safety needs” to include security. Humans have psychological needs which involve “Belongingness and Love” as well as “Esteem.” These involve being able to foster things such as intimate relationships and prestige. Lastly, the highest level of the hierarchy of needs is “Self Actualization.” This is where an individual achieves his or her full potential.


One could argue that when someone owns a company they experience all of Maslow’s hierarchy at one point or another. When the company initially opens, the needs are consistent with the “Physiological” and “Safety,” such as making a profit and keeping the lights on. However, once a company appears to be established in a community, an owner’s need is to achieve a sense of “Belonging” and “Esteem.” The owner may seek to be a greater face in the community by being in commercials, sponsoring a team, and attending community events as a face of the company. As the company becomes particularly established, the owner may look into expand his product line into other areas of interest. This is the need where the owner wants to achieve “Self Actualization.” The owner feels a need to be creative and take on a level of risk with little fear of what would happen if it did not work. Despite an owner’s success, he/she needs to be creative and seek “Self Actualization” or else the owner and company will stagnate and ultimately suffer.

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