Do you realize yourself or do you enslave yourself?

Have you ever wondered what happiness is? Your answer is likely to be something material, such as having money. But it could also be that your answer relates to meeting a goal you set for yourself, such as obtaining a diploma; or to fulfill your greatest desire, like living in Miami. Wouldn’t it be nice to have it?

But have you stopped to think if you really need to make him happy? What price are you paying for it?

    Speaking of needs

    From Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation (1943), an author belonging to the humanist current of psychology, human beings have a certain number of universal needs. Satisfying them all would lead us to a state of complete personal well-being and thus attain happiness. To meet these needs, impulses and motivations arise. In this way, Maslow proposes a pyramid of needs.

    • physiological: Base of the pyramid. Biological needs that ensure survival, such as eating or sleeping.
    • need: More related to the feeling of confidence and tranquility.
    • affiliation: Social needs related to the family, social environment, etc.
    • recognition: Achieve prestige, recognition, etc.
    • Self-realization: Top of the pyramid. Linked to spiritual or moral development, the pursuit of a mission in life, the desire to grow, etc.

    Happiness in today’s world

    These needs move our motivation. Thus, according to this author, happiness would be achieved thanks to the satisfaction of all. And although there is some controversy, it seems that Maslow’s pyramid is quite widespread among the population. The problem arises when we misunderstand the concept of self-actualization with the maximum scope of our goals and focus only on it leaving out other needs or motivations.

    The moment we are going through now is characterized by the collective idea that “every effort has its reward”. In this way, the idea of ​​constant effort beside the somewhat competitive world in which we live, can generate another similar one: “if we want to go far, we have to be the best”. And it’s like that, one way or another, we began to immerse ourselves in a spiral of desire to accomplish who is never completely satisfied.

    A very typical example is that of parents who instill in their children that better than 8 is 9 and that despite taking an 8, they should strive to improve until they get a grade. And after 9 a.m., 10 a.m. It’s like we always have to get to the top.

    In this way, we establish internal rules from an early age through which we categorize our accomplishments: important and less important. This labeling and goal pursuit could be adaptive, As it gives meaning to our lives.

    But are we really “autonomous”? The moment we stop doing the things we love all the time and devote ourselves entirely to that academic or work endeavor, self-slavery arises, so to speak. That is to say, we have moved from a healthy struggle for our interests and goals to becoming their slaves. We are slowly losing everything that has also produced gratification, such as going to the movies, being with friends, or walking in a park.

      How can we avoid it?

      Some recommendations are as follows.

      1. Don’t stop doing what we’ve always loved to do

      While it is true that our work can be appreciated so much that it almost becomes our hobby, we have trying to have another type of alternative hobby that allow us to relax, such as reading novels, watching movies, running, etc.

      2. Set realistic and sequential goals

      This is the key to not getting frustrated.

      3. Take breaks

      Not only to perform other tasks, but simply be with ourselves. Meditation can be a good way to rest and it can have many other positive effects.

      4. Plan and organize time

      It is important to keep in mind that if we plan well, we can find the time to do what we want at that time.

      5. Accept-

      Each of us has unique limitations and characteristics. Welcome them and take advantage of your qualities.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Maslow, AH (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological review, 50, 370-396.

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