Pursuing what people see as most important in life makes sense, but there’s more to life than just work.
In psychology textbooks, this is illustrated via Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs,” said Greg Gibson, a clinical psychologist.
Shaped like a pyramid, the bottom is occupied by basic animal needs such as water, food, sleep and warmth, followed by safety and security.
Neglecting proper eating habits and physical health sabotages the odds of reaching the top levels, which in turn represent a fulfilling, happy life.
“Think of it as a house of cards,” said Gibson. “When the bottom is gone, then everything comes tumbling down.”
In the middle are more complex requirements such as acceptance as part of a group or team. Further up are the needs of one’s ego/esteem, which are fulfilled by success at important projects, recognition from others, prestige and status.
At the very top is self-actualization. This is achieved by meeting challenges, engaging in creative pursuits, innovation, and learning at a high level.
A holistic view of human needs means looking at the interconnections of the whole, not just single parts, he added.