One step is plenty at a time…

The Maslow pyramid has given me food for thought for 9 years now. In the beginning when I learned about it at the uni, I thought it was bullshit (partly because of the professor’s simplifying description). Then I’ve used it for several articles over the last 2 years. And recently, I’ve read the original work, Maslow’s classic, the Theory of Human Motivation from 1943. I recommend it to all who are interested in human (or his own) behaviour.


Reading the original gave me a lot of new ideas on what’s important in life. (I’ve written about important things here before.) Usually, when you have a terrible hunger, the important thing seems to be… …food. And safety, love, esteem. Eventually, for at least few, self-actualization.

I volunteered a couple of times in a Rroma (gypsy) community close to where I live. Once, an 11 years old girl asked me what I did the week before. “I traveled to Ukraine with students. I organized the trip.”
Why?” – she replied.
I told her some things about discovering new cultures, work experience, getting away from home, etc.
That girl has never been to Budapest, 1,5 hour drive away from her village. She has never seen a river or a lake in her life. Later that day I learned that someone tried to rape her in broad daylight lately.
If I were her, I’d ask the same question: why would you EVER travel to Ukraine?!

When you’ve never written an article don’t aspire to be the editor of New York Times. When you can’t figure out how to pay back your debts – don’t aspire to be a millionaire overnight. When you can’t hold a relationship for over 2 weeks don’t dream of marrying Emma Stone.
I know it’s not easy. It’s difficult to acknowledge that you are not special. (see my article here) Every society and social class has its ways to get away from it’s disillusioning reality: let it be television, a Caribbean vacation or some legal drugs.

Your current dreams might include something fairly small like:
1, get some dinner / warm shelter for a night
2, have your own room where no one is abusing you
3, keep up the friendship with the person that has been getting more distant from you
4, getting at least 45 likes under your newest photo on FB
5, finish the project you’ve been working hard for a couple months.

It’s important to have a set of values and a framework for life – a long term goal – to which you can easily relate to (e.g. I want to travel 50 countries by the age of 30). But equally as important as this is to realize how many tiny ([very] boring) steps lead up to your big dream. And your life can be about focusing on and enjoying these ([very] boring) steps.

If you have any dream, any quest, any challenge going on – focus on it. Leave out the rest. Wanting to be on the top, right away is just another distraction like TV or social media.


 Jumping overnight – like winning the lottery or suddenly becoming a leader of a country or a company you never wanted to lead can have terrible results… See: “My life sucks since winning the lottery“.

What do you think? Let us know in a comment here or on our Facebook page!

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