The chart above is from Wikipedia and it shows Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I wanted to show it to you in case you have not seen it. This diagram is very helpful when it comes to understanding the power of all of our needs.
At the Physiological level is the need for food and shelter. Those needs must be met for us to create the next level of need realization. In other words, if we don’t have food in our stomach and a roof over our heads than the above needs are not our focus. If people are hungry and homeless they have little if any time to pursue higher states of functioning. Think of those who have suffered disasters recently.
At the Safety level our security is a key issue after food and shelter. With security people can focus on love and friendship. Without it people are have little room for the heart and social connection. Think of those without a homeland, living in dangerous unsafe places, dominated by fear.
At the Love and Belonging level is the importance of the heart, of community, of family. Those that have love and community have the ability to feel better about themselves and to make things happen in their world. Those without love and belonging feel unable to achieve the life the want. They lack confidence. Think of those lonely isolated people struggling with addiction and mental health issues.
At the Esteem level is the importance of sense of self, of confidence to be the creator of your life. Those that have confidence and respect for others have the ability to make a positive difference in the world. Those that do not have a positive self-esteem feel trapped in doubt. Think of people you know who lack confidence and a positive sense of self. Even be aware of this lack that may be in you and how it holds you back.
At the Self-Actualization level is the highest function we can achieve. In this state of moving toward self-realization, we can hope to more fully realize our potential and live with clarity and purpose. This level is ideal yet most of us spend time going between levels attempting to be our highest expression. Think of people who you admire, who are living with purpose and making the world a better place. Think of compassionate and understanding people who can see the bigger picture.
I hope this gives you some insight into why paying attention to your needs is important. When you are able to work your way up the need levels, you will find each higher levels sets you more free to be who you are. I hope the top several levels is where you are able to spend most of your time. Be Peace and Purpose.