Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Motivation

Hierarchy of Needs and Motivation2

The final stage of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is “self-actualization,” or the sense of achieving your full potential. Living the fullest, most vibrant iteration of yourself, wholly and authentically.


When we consider this model in the scope of motivation, we must understand that these factors play a significant role in our ability to feasibly maintain motivation towards our goals. We may feel high motivation to achieve a goal initially, but if our hierarchy of needs are not being met, it makes it difficult to maintain that motivation over time—our physiological and psychological needs are going to continue to remind us that those things come first.


If you’ve found yourself having difficulty maintaining motivation towards a goal, perhaps check back in with our pal Maslow. Are any of your basic human needs not being met? Are you living with a compromised sense of safety, do you lack connection relationships in your life, or are you living paycheck to paycheck, at risk of losing your home? These are all deeply important factors to care for before we ever consider things like achievement or self-actualization.

Maslow, A.H. (1943). "A theory of human motivation". Psychological Review. 50 (4): 370–96.