This is our sixth – and last – in a series of blogs this year looking at the importance of human values and which values might intersect with the different levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. What we’ve learnt is that in our pursuit of personal growth and fulfilment, understanding the role of human values is vital. They encompass the principles, beliefs and qualities that we consider important, they shape our decisions, actions and perspectives, and they vary across individuals, cultures, and societies. Most importantly, they hold enormous significance for our mental health and wellbeing. When we disregard or compromise our values it can lead to inner conflict and health issues.
Read the full series on ‘Human Values’ here: Basic Needs – Human Values Safety Needs - Human Values Love Needs – Human Values Self-esteem Needs - Human Values Self-actualisation Needs - Human Values
The very top level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is self-transcendence. It goes beyond self-actualisation (achieving individual personal growth) focusing rather on connection, meaning and service to others (humanity and the universe). As with the other levels, to reach self-transcendence certain values become instrumental.
Now, values can be categorized into means values and end values. Means values are the guiding principles that shape our behaviours and actions, and end values are the ultimate goals or aspirations we strive for in our lives.
Means values such as empathy, compassion, generosity, humility, interconnectedness and social responsibility can help us achieve an end value of altruism. Embracing altruism involves selflessly serving and helping others without expecting anything in return. By prioritizing the well-being and welfare of others, we expand our focus beyond ourselves, contributing to the collective good and furthering our journey towards self-transcendence.
The means values of adventure, creativity, curiosity, growth and wisdom can help us achieve the end value of spirituality. Nurturing a spiritual dimension in our lives could involve exploring and developing a sense of connection to something greater than ourselves, whether through religious beliefs, meditation, mindfulness practices, or a connection to nature.
And to achieve the end values of peace and happiness we must live by the means values of positivity, balance, inner harmony and gratitude. Gratitude involves a genuine appreciation and recognition of the positive aspects and experiences we encounter, as well as acknowledging the kindness and contributions of others.
Embracing these values allows us to transcend our individualistic needs and contribute to the wellbeing of others and society as a whole. When we align our values with the pursuit of self-transcendence and flourishing, we foster a harmonious existence that not only enriches our own lives but also radiates positivity and influences the wellbeing of those around us.
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.