For many of us, a successful life consists in climbing the steps of Maslow’s pyramid one by one. Physical security is replaced by material security, which in turn is replaced by emotional security and so on.
What to do when we get stuck on one of these steps? Are we condemned to dwell on the bitter fact that we could not do better?
What happens when our stagnation is exposed through comparisons, starting with money?
Living with little money and making it a principle of life is not easy. Frugality, which is the basis of spiritual disciplines, is in direct opposition to the pressure of material success which monopolizes our minds.
In the same way, can we be happy to live with little in societies where the absence of money deprives you of access to vital benefits (medical care etc.)?
To succeed in life is already an expression that can bias our approach. It would imply that you have to earn something, perhaps implying honors, money and so many other things.
Why not aspire to simply live life in the best way possible. In wanting to count everything, we may be missing out on what makes us human, namely our capacity to love and to feel. When we are in a contemplative and joyful state, we stop comparing ourselves and live in the moment.
However, we cannot live fully and happily if deep down we hide an anxiety linked to an insecurity whether it is material, emotional or physical.
Maslow’s pyramid of needs helps us to understand that there is a certain order to follow in life. However, this approach leads us to believe that we must first satisfy lower needs before we can tackle those located at a higher level.
We all have the ability to transcend these levels and even aspire to do so, no matter where we are on the pyramid. Keeping a big dream in mind and believing in it despite the circumstances should not be the prerogative of the wealthy. It’s true that reality or our environment often catches up with us and we end up settling for a precarious or even miserable life because we believe that we don’t deserve better. Sometimes it is necessary to shatter the pyramids and other social ladders. Dreaming should be accessible to all. Resignation or fatalism should be banned from our minds. To succeed in life is perhaps to believe in an ideal and to work towards it until one’s last breath, despite the obstacles that have been put in one’s way.