Do you know why happiness is so hard for most of us?
Do you know why happiness is the number one thing that has overwhelmed the thoughts and minds of the greatest philosophers to have ever lived?
Do you know why lasting happiness is seemingly always just within reach, yet always just out of reach for most people?
The answer, I truly believe, can be found here. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that we have all seen and studied in the past.
Now, it’s one thing to look at this pyramid when you’re at the top, and it’s another to look at it while you’re still trying to ascend it.
Let me tell you what it looks like from the top. This is the place which I have fought, and struggled, and gone to hell and back to arrive at because I always knew deep down I wasn’t there yet, and I refused to not have something that I knew would be so wonderful once I had it.
It. That place at the top of the pyramid. The top rung of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Self-actualization is one term for that place. I would actually call it “Self-Actualization, Authenticity, and True Happiness.”
And the view from the top is beautiful. You already know how beautiful it is if you’ve gotten there, as well. And you know how much work it took to get there. It does not happen for anyone without great effort and many small victories along the way.
From up here, you know who you are, you know what you believe, and you don’t alter from it when others try and change your beliefs.
From up here, you also question your beliefs. Constantly. Always. You have no fear to do so. You know that the quest for truth only brings more truth to your life. You have no need to demand perfect knowledge in anything because you know how effortless it is for new truth to crush any “perfect knowledge” that people think they have.
From up here, you don’t have thick skin, but you have protective armor in the form of self-esteem yes, but even more importantly, self-belief. You deep down believe in your own character, your own passion, and your own love for others. You don’t need others to tell you what you are or aren’t, and there is no one else on earth who can affect the level of self-esteem that you have.
From up here, you have no prejudices or hatred for others. This has nothing to do with others, and everything to do with the discontentment and lack of peace such feelings bring you.
From up here, you see the accomplishments, advances, and successes of others as beautiful and well-deserved. You are happy for others. You know that success breeds success and you want everyone in your life to be as successful as possible.
From up here, lack of any other “need” on the hierarchy of needs is not as scary to you. You will not trade your authenticity and happiness for food or water. You will not trade it for respect or friendship. You will not trade it for unhealthy sex. Reaching the top has a way of securing you to the top, damn all the other needs as they come and go.