Episode #5: What’s impacting your motivation and progress?
Welcome to episode 5 of LIT. Typically I say what’s up to everyone right now but I just have to take a second to recognize LIT’s been around for 5 episodes now. Remember, this was just a dream of mine a year ago written on my whiteboard… Ok, back to your scheduled programming.
If you’re a returning listener, ‘Sup! We’ve become a bit close, haven’t we? If you could see me right now, I’m winking awkwardly at you. If you’re new to LIT, welcome, welcome, welcome! My name is Ravi Toor and I’m your host. You want to make sure to go back to the older episodes and listen to them in order because I have a master plan and because everything will make a bit more sense as you listen along.
Ok, the last 4 episodes have been pretty into. First, why I started LIT, what changemaker types exist out there and how mindset affects your choices. Then, last week I took you to school, back to 1943 to be exact. Yup, it may have been dense material but Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is important, especially for today.
Today, I want to talk to you about how the Hierarchy of Needs applies in real life and how not meeting your needs is impacting your motivation and progress.
Like I said last week, for human beings to move forward, to progress in a meaningful and powerful way, we have needs that need to be met. 8 stages of needs to be exact. When your needs are not being met, you’ll find yourself simply focused on your problem at hand vs the thing you’re trying to strive for.
Before I go any further, I have to clarify the “thing.” For all of us, the “thing” is totally different but deep down, I believe we all inherently want the same thing: Peace, comfort, safety, shelter, love, acceptance, meaning and purpose. In one form or another, in my opinion, we’re always chasing it. So, for some it’s a pipe dream, checking all the boxes off that is. But for others, the ones I’m talking to, it’s possible, you’re just stuck. You have the drive and hunger, you’re ready to create change for yourself and change for the world in a real and meaningful way, but, again… you’re stuck, shit’s getting you stuck… you are fucking stuck.
That’s why I’m referencing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and that’s why I’m asking you to pay attention because this shit’s important.
Maslow believed, back in 1943, that only less than 1% if the adult population Self-Actualized – today, I think the percentile is even lower than that. That’s because many adults get caught up in the stresses of unmet needs. And, I believe in today’s day and age, our needs are being unmet more and more. Maybe you’re in a shitty relationship, maybe you don’t get enough sleep, maybe you’re not being recognized for your work. Maybe you’ve had health issues or maybe you’ve found yourself swimming in debt. Or maybe, you’re not even getting access to basic necessities, leaving you trying to fend for yourself on a daily. Whatever the issue, it’s going to be the centre of your attention. And when you’re wearing blinders, it’s really hard for you to step back and see the full picture to get an objective full understanding of the situation.
I totally agree with and believe in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs simply because I’ve seen it at work in my own life. In my opinion, the 8 Stages of the Hierarchy of Needs are the foundation of our being and our success. So, let me get into the meat and potatoes of what happens when your foundations are not met.
The real life and personal example I’m going to use is housing because it’s the one that’s thrown me off my game a few times and it’s one many of you can relate with because let’s face it, in most area’s, housing is in crisis and a huge portion of my audience are renters vs homeowners. Ok, so my story, let’s just look at the last year alone. I’ve moved 3 times in 2018. Yup, take a moment to soak that shit in. My housing situation for the last year has been rather tumultuous. In the last 2 homes I was renting, the housing situation was less than perfect. I dealt with other tenant’s bullshit that put my housing in jeopardy. Additionally, my security was often jeopardized by harassment, bullying and overall fuckery. Then, with 2 moves under my belt, my self-esteem was crushed because, in my mind, I had already begun judging myself and I was convinced my close family and friends were judging me too. All I could think about was how everyone around me must think I’m a crazy bat vs I had unfortunately found myself in 2 shitty situations back to back.
Aside from all of that, things were getting tough for my husband and I. We often fought because we were often stressed to the max from the moment we were woken up to the moment we were allowed to sleep. Oh, yeah, sleep was such a luxury especially at the last place we were at. So that means, I was being woken up at random hours of the morning ranging from 3 am or sometimes, if I was lucky, 5 am.
Have you been able to pick up the different stages that were affected while I was dealing with my crazy housing situation? Let me point them out to you.
During my stay at those 2 rentals, I experienced unmet Deficiency Needs. My Physiological Needs were rarely met – I was often lacking sleep due to asshole neighbours and I was also missing the warmth component as heat in our last suite was illegally restricted.
Safety wasn’t being met and Security was out of the fucking question, especially at the last house.
Stability was a thing to strive for but I knew both homes were unstable. I mean, at the last place alone, we were looking for a new place to move to within 2 months of signing a 1-year lease. Then the drama – not fucking stable at all.
My Health was on a serious decline. I was often crying and stressed, and we know what longterm stress can do to a body and mental health.
I didn’t really have shelter. In the last place alone, I had to leave my home often just to find some semblance of peace.
Then comes money, holy shit was money an issue. In less than a year I had spent $7000 on moving, that’s hiring movers, trucks, emergency see ya the fuck laters and all the damage deposits associated with each move. All of these unexpected costs took a serious hit on my bank account with all the other day to day expenses I had of running a business and running a home.
And, employment… I’m self-employed, so instead of being focused on my business, I was often focused on the bullshit I was dealing with every day.
I’m not going to break the other needs down bit by bit, but as you can start to tell, my Physiological, Saftey, Love & Belogining and Self-Esteem Needs weren’t being met. Therefore, my focus on Self-Actualization, that is using my greatest potential to be the best I can be as a Coach, Speaker and Leader, was completely displaced as I found myself day in and day out focusing on my current home situation.
With all of my focus on the
Now, let’s fast forward to moving out of hell times 2 and into my 3rd home of the year. Shall we say the 3rd time’s the charm? First, I am so fucking grateful to have found this home. I count my blessings Every. Single. Day! In this home, I’m experiencing my needs being met. My Physiological Needs such as sleep, warmth and yeah, exercise – cuz I feel motivated now, all are being met. My Saftey Needs, security, stability, health, shelter, money and employment, check, check, and check! My Love and Beginning Needs, acceptance, relationships, and intimacy were all being met. And, my Self-Esteem Needs, that is achievement, respect, recognition and competence all were being met. All of these Deficiency Needs were being met and all of a sudden, my drive, hunger, creativity, time, and focus were all in alignment. Now, I was taking advantage of this new found zest and applying myself like crazy. So, I had returned to the Growth Needs, moving closer and closer to Self-Actualization.
Do you see what happens when you can’t focus on your work or on your life because there’s something impeding you or taking your attention away? Maybe you’re in a shitty housing situation or maybe you’re in a toxic relationship. Maybe you, your spouse or your kid had a health concern which created massive debt, stress and instability and all you’re trying to do now is to stay above water.
Do you realize that when you’re focused on the problem at hand, the issues, the stress that’s affecting your basic, foundational human needs, you’re not rising to the occasion to truly Self-Actualize? You cannot get creative and you sure as shit cannot see past the storm.
That’s my message to you today. I knew my housing situation was really impacting me and my business in a very, very negative way. But I also knew, the only way I’d get back to Self-Actualizing, working on my business, giving my clients and my audience my all, was to get the fuck out of dodge as quickly as possible no matter how tired I was with moving. As soon as I objectively realized it was my unmet Deficiency Needs that created the wall I was standing up against, I realized the only objective thing to do was to really change up my housing situation for good. And, that’s what I ended up doing. As soon as I was able to release the self-judgement, all the criticism I hurled at myself for not being motivated, for not finding the success I had hoped for in my business given my circumstances, and really gave myself a bit of respect for even running a home based business with all the shit I had to deal with on a daily, my mind opened up. I was kinder to myself, accepting and understood that when our fundamental needs are not being met and our foundation is rocky, we’re not capable of doing the things we’re able to do when we have a strong foundation.
So, give yourself a break if you’re not meeting your goals, if you’re struggling to stay motivated and you’re not completely accessing your greatest potential. I can guarantee you… seriously, guarantee, you’re stuck in the Deficiency Needs and struggling to meet one or more of the first 4 Stages.
To get out, first you have to be aware of what you’re in, then it’s time to create a plan to get you out. But don’t create plans if you don’t know what needs aren’t being met. Head back to last week’s episode to use the infographic and information to chart out your needs so you can objectively see where you’re getting hung up when it comes to being the best you can possibly be.
Remember, in the words of the great Abraham Maslow, “It is as necessary for man to live in beauty rather than ugliness as it is necessary for him to have food for an aching belly or rest for a weary body.”
Go get your needs met so you can reignite your motivation and progress!