Maslow's hierarchy of needs has always stuck with me since I learned about it in grade school. Despite its shortcomings, I've always thought it was an excellent way to think about think about human motivation and development. Maslow created the model as a way to think about a person's needs and development.
For those of you who haven't heard of it before, the basic idea is that
for a human to reach her full potential, she must first meet certain
needs. Briefly described below.
Physiological - food, water, shelter. The basic stuff you need to survive.
Safety - Security in life, a job, health, resources to survive. The stuff you need to feel comfortable and secure.
Love / Belonging - Friendship, family, community, intimacy. Having the outside world accept you.
Esteem - Self esteem, others that believe in you, doing something that let's you feel needed. You accepting yourself.
Self Actualization - Self defined morals, creativity, acceptance of life. You're the best of the best, you know yourself, the world, and you accept and embrace it!
Or if you prefer a visual representation....