Renowned American psychologist Abraham Maslow had a keen understanding of what drives people. To explain human motivation, Maslow conceptualized a “hierarchy of needs.” The behavioral model consists of five levels, most often arranged as a pyramid: at its base is bodily needs (food, clothes, shelter, rest); the next level is safety (job security, for instance); then, the need for love and a sense of belonging (intimate relationships); esteem (personal accomplishment and respect of others); and self-actualization (reaching one’s full potential and experiencing self-fulfillment, as through creative pursuits). A person must meet each underlying level of need in the pyramid before being able to move up to the next tier.1
Humans are hardwired to want to ascend Maslow’s pyramid and achieve the vision they have of themselves. But, is the ability to succeed inbred, or is it something we develop?
Research suggests it is a mix of both.