Part of the Diploma in Self Actualisation Psychology is a stand-alone(1) module called Unleashing Vitality; where you learn to get in touch with your full set of needs, both ‘Deficiency’ and ‘Being’ needs as defined by Abraham Maslow, the founder of the first Human Potential Movement. At the course you get to understand exactly what ‘needs’ are, how they operate, how to ‘unload’ needs that may have been ‘overloaded’ and to recognise and honour our real needs by satisfying them with ‘true satisfiers’. All of this sounds a bit academic, but the focus in the training is practical applications for your life and/or business.
One of the biggest insights I had was that by exploring ‘needs’ in such depth and gaining a proper understanding of them, has allowed me to really recognise and clarify ‘needs’ as they arise. And how to satisfy them appropriately so I can live with more vitality, vigour and motivation in day to day life. Another insight was that there aren’t really any motivation problems! We’re all inherently motivated and full of energy. What most people refer to as ‘motivation problems’ are simply lower needs not being properly met.
Here’s what I mean. Do you ever eat for comfort? Drink or smoke to de-stress? Hang out on the internet when feeling lonely or bored? Or distract yourself in some other way that never really feels as though it’s doing the job to satisfy some kind of need? As a practical case in point I’ll share an experience I had…
One night I babysat… until 2am in the morning. I got home at around 2.30am and into bed by 3. I couldn’t sleep for a while and after less than four hours of fitful sleep got up at 7am. The day after I was about to start teaching the final six day block of my Master Practitioner course… and I had lots to prepare! But I was so tired all morning. Feeling jaded and not able to concentrate, I procrastinated. I ‘tried’ to motivate myself, ‘tried’ to concentrate… but to no avail. I couldn’t think clearly or get anything done… very annoying!
So I started to think, “Maybe if I have another coffee I’ll wake up?” …Didn’t work. “Ok, drink water…” …Didn’t work. “Some fruit for energy…?” …Didn’t work. Then the ‘duh!’ moment; the genuine ‘need’ was for rest and sleep. It seems so obvious really but how many times in the past have I tried to gratify one need with another? Coffee/water will gratify thirst – not sleep! Fruit will gratify hunger – not sleep! Only rest/sleep will gratify sleep deficiency! If I’d carried on my day trying to push through without sleep I’d never have got into the focussed and creative mindset needed to prep for starting a training the next day. I could’ve easily spent the whole day tired, frustrated and making mistakes before falling exhausted into bed the night before an important training, after not having accomplished anything worthwhile. Sound familiar, have you ever done anything similar?
So, I gave myself permission to rest. I put a chair in the garden and sat in the warm sun, watching the bees busily pollinating flowers and listening to the breeze and the birdsong in the trees all around. And I dozed… And as my mind wandered I started contemplating how Unleashing Vitality had given me this realisation. So after less than an hour I felt refreshed, went inside and wrote a 1000+ word article! I was still a bit tired but my energy returned and my mind sharpened – all because of gratifying a real need with a true satisfier. The rest of the day was focussed, I got on top of the workload and the training was a great success.
And it’s not just me. When I’m coaching clients, so many of them are simply trying to satisfy all kinds of needs (such as those for love and affection, relaxation, sleep, meaning, connection, purpose of action, etc.) with false gratifiers like food, drink, bad habits or behaviours that distract and simply won’t do the job. So you see it’s not always as easy as it seems. Because recognising and truly satisfying your, unconscious driving needs is something most people simply are unable to do. And when we do learn to honour and satisfy needs properly we naturally become more enthused with life and can say “good bye” to diets, procrastination and many of our bad habits.
Do you want to know how to live from an energised state every day? Are you ready to unleash your vitality? Are you ready to live with energy and focus? Well, I’m running Unleashing Vitality soon. Check it out here and look on the right hand task bar of the main website for dates. You truly have no idea how much easier and more energised life can be.
What are the typical bad coping strategies you commonly use? Recognising them is the first step to transformation. Leave a comment below, how will you commit to more energy in life?
(1) Each of these courses are stand-alone, self/business development trainings that can be taken independently of the rest