Explore the Perspectives

WHAT DO WE NEED?

It is probably the most important question of your life. Do you know the answer? You may end up at success, money, fame or wisdom,or maybe even “happiness”. Generally it stops there, as you probably don’t give it that much conscious thought.

Several answers to the question exist, rooted in different worldviews and perspectives. A single absolute truth doesn’t exist; you are the only one to decide what is true to you. That being said, existing answers may provide guidance.

Apart from our Happonomy model, rooted in the latest science of neurobiology and several branches of psychology, other perspectives exist.

Here is a selection

MASLOW’S PYRAMID

Abraham Maslow, - an American clinical psychologist, is probably best known for his five dimension pyramid. The foundations of the pyramid are our bodily needs and a sense of safety. It is then furthered with needs for love and belonging and self-esteem. The pyramid tops off with our needs for self-actualisation.

Built in the 1940’s, it is considered to be the first major attempt to determine what people need. It is also considered to be flawed though. Maslow himself altered the model over time to add three extra dimensions: cognitive, aesthetic and transcendence needs.

SPIRAL DYNAMICS - COWAN & BECK

Rooted in the research of Clare Graves, a psychology professor studying adult development, Don Beck and Chris Cowan crafted a model linking our world views to what we need.

As with Maslow it has eight different manifestations. These manifestations are our "lens" through which we experience and interpret our reality and offset our decisions.

At the bottom of the spiral we find the "survival" mode, followed by a tribal and power perspective. Above this we find the rule of law and conventions, individual success and community thinking, which are currently the main perspectives in Western societies. These mainstream perspectives are followed by those which are increasingly spiritual, from systemic to holistic.

Using colours as categories, the term spiral dynamics relates to modern new age spirituality focusing on consciousness development on individual and group levels.

AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE

Douglas Kendrick, an evolutionary psychologist, offers yet another different perspective more closely linked to a Darwinist interpretation of our reality. According to Kendrick and his team, our needs for survival and gene-transfer command our existence.

Finding and keeping a mate along with procreation are the centrepiece of our lives. As with Maslow, Kendrick models our needs into a pyramid, having seven levels.

Our immediate bodily needs are complemented by self-protection, affiliation along with status and esteem. Where the pyramid differs from Maslow is in the top levels, where mate acquisition, mate selection and parenting are at the pyramid’s pinnacle.

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