How to use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Be a Happier Person

How good are you at being human? Photo by

If you’re looking to get more out of life, like to experience spirituality and zen, this post is for you.

The best possible way to see how well you do as a human being is to compare yourself to fellow mammals.  Like everything else, there’s a test for that!  Maslow already thought it all through with his Hierarchy of Needs chart below. Chances are you’ve came across it before, like in grade school.

Just in case, here’s the long story short: it’s the basic formula for understanding life; like eating, drinking and the other basic needs we have as an animal species.  Represented within a pyramid, Maslow ranks human needs with the largest and lowest of needs at the bottom, and the highest level of need (like self-actualization) at the teenie-tiny top.


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How high we each reach is based on how we progress as human beings.  For some, the bottom (lowest) needs are a battle to obtain and life revolves around them.  For others, the goal of life is spirituality and oneness with self and the world.

Achieving the top level of inner greatness takes a trek from the lowest tier all the way to the top; through safety, love and esteem. You can’t get there by cheating or lying either, which in geek talk means it’s like playing your favorite game in God mode.

Game time! What level are you?


If you’re not sure where you fit, walk through the questions below and compare them with the descriptions in the table above.  Level one corresponds with the bottom level – “Physiological.”  Now, be honest when reflecting. There’s no sense kidding yourself.  Not if you want the genuine happiness you deserve.

Level 1)  Are you alive? Are you feeling well? Can you do normal day-to-day activities? Can you take care of yourself?

Level 2) Do you have a safe home? Do you live in a healthy environment? How’s your work life? Do you enjoy waking up each day?

Level 3) Do you have good friends to talk to? Do you get out and socialize on a regular basis? Are you in love? Do you have good relationships with friends and family? Are you judgemental?

Level 4) How do you feel about where you are in life? Do you have goals set? Do you love yourself?

Level 5)  What are you meant to be?  What is your purpose in life? Why do you and I exist? What is life?

Psstt… Click here to learn more about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Need help leveling on your journey?


We all need help on our journey. If you say you don’t, I’m calling you a liar right here and now.  Even the geekiest, happiest and most “successful” of all geeks needs help and inspiration.  From Nikola Tesla to Steve Jobs.  So where can you find help using the least amount of effort possible? Here’s a start.

1) Use the Internet to find a mentor or hang out with smart friends. Both will keep you on your toes discussion wise and can help with important questions.  I’ve got a few mentors.  Just to name two:  Lauren Cooney @lcooney and Guy Kawasaki @GuyKawasaki.

2) The meaning of life aka spirituality.  Notice how I didn’t say religion. Religion scares the whits out of people. Indeed, some people make it scary.  Doesn’t have to be though because what I mean is, “seeking answers to the bigger questions in life.”  Do you really think celebrity, power and money are the meanings of life?  Me neither.  Here’s where you can find answers to some of those questions.

Start with History and then onto Science.


What now? Well that’s up to you :)


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3 thoughts on “How to use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Be a Happier Person”

  1. Mentors are really important. Huge fan of the work Hope Bagozzi does for McDonald’s Canada.

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