“To live means sharing one another’s space, dreams, sorrows, contributing our ears to hear, our eyes to see, our arms to hold, our hearts to love.”- Paul Tillich
Effective, creative living takes practice and work. It is important to understand that. Like learning to run a household or manage a company, learning to live happily and well is a matter of acquiring skills. How skillful we are is usually in direct relationship to how much we practice. Today I will congratulate myself for the strength and insight I have worked hard to acquire. At times, it may feel like a tug-of war between who I am right now and whom I want to be: One pulls hard; the other pulls harder. Who will win? Who I am now is rich with learned reactions, emotional patterns and customary response. My new, becoming self is young, without the strength of personal history. So I need to exercise this power, this self I want to be, daily in order to see results.
Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who was best known for creating “Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs”. It is a theory of health, focused on fulfilling needs in priority and leading up to realizing one’s potential. In many psychology books and articles, it is shown as a pyramid. The needs are as follows:
- Physiological: Physical requirements for human survival. Examples are air, water and food.
- Safety: Health & well being. Personal & financial security. Safety net against accidents/ illness.
- Love & Belonging: Friendship, intimacy, family. A need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among social groups as well.
- Esteem: Self-esteem and self-respect. Esteem represents the desire to be accepted and valued. By oneself and others.
- Self-actualization: The desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be.
Competition can be a killer. Allowing our value or worth to be measured against the achievements of another leads to confusion and a misunderstanding of the truth. We are not all the same. We have not all started at the same place. The effort and heroism it has taken to reach a certain level of success varies as greatly as the individuals who are determined to stay within themselves and carry on. That is the great task, to learn to measure our grandness, not by another’s opinion, but to know ourselves well enough to acknowledge the “baby steps” in our progress. Today, I will not worry about whose ahead or whose behind. I will run my own race at my own pace. Your speed doesn’t matter. Forward is forward.