Freedom. Fun. Love and Belonging. Power. Survival.
Okay, so technically seven.
According to William Glasser M.D., longtime psychiatrist, these are the five basic needs. He believes that every action you and everyone around you does it to essentially achieve one of these basic needs. He believes one or two of these drives every person’s motivation.
See, I’ve got a blaring loud freedom need. However, almost as loud is my love and belonging need.This has been a consistent problem for me during my life because they seem to conflict. During my childhood, I constantly fought with my dad, who was trying to tell me what to do to be successful. I was never ridiculously rebellious because I was getting my love and belonging need at home.
When I think back to my extreme freedom need, I remember being nine years old and deciding I was going to run away from home. Perhaps a little too much ‘Run away train, never coming back’ on the radio. I stuffed up, five — yes five, garbage bags of stuffed animals and told my dad I was leaving. I had enough of being told what to do.
As an adult, I have struggled to live in one place for over a year since I graduated college. I transferred universities, studied abroad, and have traveled constantly. I actually had to make it a resolution to live in one place for over year. My freedom need has given me the courage to travel to off the beaten places, explore nooks and crannies of old city streets, and try numerous activities in my 27 years of living.
However, I yearn for love and belonging. I am most satisfied belonging to a strong community of people who are like good friends. When I envision my future I see a family, a life long love, and a home by the beach. Yet, as soon as I find myself in a relationship I start to go crazy. What if I can’t do whatever I want? Compromise? What? I need to do me.
Awareness is the first step to change. To be aware of your strengths and faults is a great tool. I hope Glasser’s words help you find yours!
“If you have found that you are less willing to take risks than most people, you have a high need for survival.”
“The key to assessing the strength of your need for love and belonging is how much you are willing to give.”
“To assess the strength of your need for power, ask yourself if you always want to have your own way, to have the last word, to own people, and to be seen as right in most of what you do or say.”
“If you can’t stand the idea of following rules, conforming, or even staying in one place or with one group of people for very long, you have a high need for freedom.”
“If you enjoy learning and laugh a lot when you do, you have a high need for fun.”
~ William Glasser
Editor: Greg Eckard
Olga Feingold is a traveling vagabond goddess currently trapped living a full time job lifestyle in Boston. She keeps her soul smilin’ with her dedicated yoga practice, running away to the wilderness in her free time, and practicing gratitude. She loves finding things to climb, people to hug, and harnessing her inner domesticated side. If you like what you see, you can catch her meandering inspirational tidbits at http://awwsnapnews.blogspot.com.