Coronavirus April 7, 2020

Thriving in this Crazy Corona time - Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Jonathan Oron @JonathanOron

Hi All,

I have a BSc in Psychology, which I find in my profession to be surprisingly useful :)
I wanted to share a thought with all of you about thriving at this time.

We're all worried, anxious, scared, distracted, lonely, bored, over-stimulated.
It's a very trying time. So the first thing I did was go back to my best bud Maslow (I actually never met him in full disclosure)

So to those of you who are less familiar - Maslow studied positive psychology and was one of the founding fathers of the study of the "happy/great" human as opposed to the pathological.

He says that the highest form of being is in "Self-Actualization" - an amazing zen mode where we're doing things that advance us towards success and fulfillment.
What can make sure we don't self-actualize? Enter the pyramid diagram.

Self-Actualization is COMPLETELY dependant on all the steps below it. And the best thing to do is start from the bottom.

  • Physiological needs - I'm assuming you've all got this covered. You are breathing, eating and drinking. The basic needs that sustain you on a daily basis are being fulfilled in the near future.
  • Safety needs - BANG! We've all been hit here REALLY hard! Employment? Health? Rent/Mortgage? This is NOT a good time for this base. I think that we all have to try to be as optimistic as possible - most of us will be OK, as noisy as everything seems right now, can you imagine a future where these things won't work out in a couple of years? Sure there will be hardships, but it won't be something you can't overcome. You are here since you're a proactive, creative person. You'll be OK, don't worry :)
  • Love and belonging - Here is a place that I was hit really hard - I can't meet my friends and family! I don't know what I'd do without my wife, so I'm not alone, but I feel very isolated. Therefore, instead of being "productive" and insisting on working on things that I don't feel like, I decided to squeeze this lemon into lemonade. I started doing free consults. I met amazing and inspirational people. I've started feeling a part of this community. I've gotten thank you letters that made me blush. Stage 3 - Unlocked!
  • Esteem - So these consults have not only allowed me to feel more love and belonging but have given me more self-esteem. I'm helping people! If nothing else, at least some of my consults have ended with a heart-warming compliment. I'm of value. I'm useful. THAT FEELS AWESOME. I highly recommend it to anyone here. Give something away for free and see how amazing it makes you feel.
  • Self-actualization - So not only have I had amazing consultations and felt more love and belonging, and had a boost to my self-esteem, I've actually been free to self-actualize. All these consultations have shown me so many interesting common problems. I've had a surge of excitement and energy to start writing about it and start a blog!

So to make a long story short, if you're feeling down lately, don't beat yourself up. Go down the rungs of the self-actualization ladder, and try to find things you can do to make your base more stable. Once you solve the lower-level problems, you'll see your productivity and mood go through the roof.

  1. 2

    Great post. Thank you for sharing!

    Productivity is great for those of us lucky enough to achieve it without much trouble, but “real life” comes first and we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves right now.

    1. 1

      Thanks, Blake!
      Yeah, I think we should all be our own best friends in these trying times!

  2. 1

    "I decided to squeeze this lemon into lemonade. I started doing free consults. I met amazing and inspirational people. I've started feeling a part of this community. I've gotten thank you letters that made me blush. Stage 3 - Unlocked!"

    Definitely! This is has kept me sane and feeling like I can contribute to those around me. I helped look over a friend's resume since he was planning on moving before all this happened. Just giving him some simple feedback about aspects of his resume was pretty cool, and then we spent time actually catching up on life and how things were going.

    Thanks for sharing these things!

    1. 1

      Thanks, Jesse!
      I love hearing stories of how paying forward has been rewarding!
      Would love to hear more about Peel, I'm intrigued!