Safety Needs – Human Values

20/02/2023by Terry White

* This is the second blog in our series on ‘Human Values’. To read blog one, click here Basic Needs – Human Values.


Our values are the things that we believe are important in the way we live, work and play. They  influence our priorities and are the basis for our decision making. There is absolutely no doubt – they are intrinsically linked to our sense of self and consequently our mental wellbeing.

Now, the point of this series is to take a look as to whether we can associate values with the different levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, with this blog focusing on ‘safety’. Maslow believed that physiological and psychological needs motivate our actions, and we tend to agree. Gandhi once said; “… Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny”. And so, in terms of ‘safety’, where do the two intersect?

Feeling safe and secure is a prerequisite to being a happy and healthy human being because the term extends to all aspects of ‘safety’ – financial, physical, emotional, personal, social stability, law and order, health and wellbeing. When we feel safe, we find it easier to focus on the present and really live our values. It’s when we’re not able to honour our values that we feel conflicted, which can lead to mental health issues.

Say for instance, one of your end values (those that we seek to attain and live with) is to be secure financially; your means values (those which help us achieve our end values) would be to be continuously learning, seeking knowledge, taking initiative and preserving in your pursuit of stability no matter what. If your end value is success in the workplace; your means values might be to become an authority figure – a leader – and increase your wealth. If your end value is to be an expert in your field of work; your means values may be attention to detail, quality, determination, discipline, efficiency, professionalism and punctuality.

Of course, not everyone has the same end goals when it comes to ‘safety’ and ‘security’ and so no two people have exactly the same end and means values. Someone who has never had a regular 9 – 5 job may be happy with a temporary placement to meet their end value of financial security whereas someone who has always had a permanent 9 – 5 may be looking to get a salary or wage increase. Where some might view success in the workplace as being the top gun and earning an above average paycheck, someone else might derive the ultimate sense of achievement by helping people.

So, what are your end values when it comes to ‘safety’ needs?


If you find this subject of interest, visit Why Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs Matters – YouTube and do look out for more of our blogs over the coming weeks.

And should you feel you’d like to talk to us about how you might discover and start honouring your values, Quandary Pond is just a phone call away. Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

Terry White