The hierarchy in personal objectives

  At the start of this treatise we considered the needs of humankind and during this we referred particularly to the hierar­chy in human needs using the example of the Maslow theory: At the lowest level were the existential needs of a person and at the highest level the achievement of a state of lasting happiness, self-realization, salvation of the soul, harmony within oneself or whatever we like to call this state. On the basis of these needs the human being sets his own personal goals according to this theory. If for example his existence is assured, he attempts to realize the needs of the next highest level of hierarchy by setting his goals accordingly. The hierarchy of needs, which we have referred to already many times, therefore corresponds with a similar hierarchy of objectives: Our own goals can also be hierarchically arranged.

In other words: According to the needs which we wish to satisfy, we should select our goals from the corresponding hierarchical level. What sounds so simple and logical is however frequently a cause of disappointment in our personal development: Needs and objectives don’t correspond but often even contradict each other in a flagrant way.

Many people set their goals in the material area such as for example financial income, property, possessions, and are surprised that they are not at the same time happier, calmer and more composed. Material objectives correspond with the lower hierarchical levels of human needs, in that they mainly ensure the basis for existence. As important as this is, it is then possible for a person to turn to other goals with confidence once the material existence is ensured. Otherwise this person remains fixed on these needs in his personal development too.

 

The need to safeguard the basis of existence more and more strongly can be compared with the taking of drugs: A certain amount of the drug is first taken to experience a given feeling. As time goes on greater and greater amounts of the drug are necessary to experience the same intensity of feeling. A switch is then made to harder drugs where the same process is repeated. This can continue as far as self-destruction.

When setting our objectives for life therefore we should take note of the hierar­chy of objectives: If we seek happiness and harmony in our lives then we should select goals which correspond with the highest level of human needs. In plain language this means: The respecting of the basic rights of existence in every situation should become our highest personal goal.