Remember back to that time you took psychology 101 in college, and one of the first things you probably learned was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It might have looked a little something like this.
Maslow’s hierarchy is not without controversy, but it does provide us with a simple framework to think about human motivation. The idea is that we are all motivated to achieve, but some needs simply take priority over others – we can’t move up the pyramid until we have our basic needs met. So, when we’re starving (physiological need), we’re not necessarily worried about our physical danger (safety need). If we’re in harm’s way (safety need), we’re not worried about intimate relationships (belongingness and love need). And so on and so forth.