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Maslow's Hierarchy Theory

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 I have been interesting in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs because I am studying management in Hong Kong polytechnic university. Also, I had studied this theory when I was studying in HKU SPACE. And I learned that this theory is well applied and useful to management people. So in this reflective journal, I want to analyze about 2 questions that I had in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

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According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there are 5 stages of needs in human. First, human wants to fulfill the psychological needs which includes breathing, food, sleep and so on. Secondly, the security of body, family is needed to human which is freedom from fear. Third, human wants to belong in society like family and friends. Fourth, human wants to get respect by others and each other which means self-esteem and confidence. Finally, human arrives the stage of self-actualization which seeks personal growth through morality, peak experiences. According to Maslow’s hierarchy needs, each step has to be satisfied to go to next stage.

From this theory, I was wondering whether I or someone can be defined as a self-actualized person or not. Furthermore, I raised another question to myself whether I can arrive higher stage without fulfilling the previous stage in hierarchy of needs.

Firstly, I found that Maslow (1970) already defined 15 characteristics of human who is self-actualized. Through searching those characteristics, I realized that only 9 characteristics are applied to me among 15. This observation is also not correct because it is how I judge myself. Although it is objective, can we judge whether someone is self-actualized or not according to the ratio that how many characteristics someone have?

 I think that self-actualization stage cannot be measured into number or ratio. People does not need to fulfill 100% of characteristics to be defined as a self-actualized person. It can be depended on personality of individual in that I cannot meet some characteristics due to my selfish and self-centered personality. However, I have some potential to be self-actualized person because I am striving to solve my personality problem and keep improving. Consequently, people cannot be defined as a self-actualized person through just observing the figures and characteristics. Furthermore, I want to put this quotation from Maslow. 'There are no perfect human beings' (Maslow,1970, p. 176)

Secondly, it seems that I cannot arrive next stage without fulfilling previous stage of needs. For example, when I study in the library, the main reason why I am in library is fulfilling cognitive and academic needs. However, if the safety of body which can be met by library and environment is not satisfied, no one can study. Also if someone starves which does not meet physiological stage, no one can meet the higher stage of needs. Therefore, the steps to be self-actualized person is well identified comparatively.

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