People often think of success as a singular moment. It’s not.
Think of it this way. One day you get sick and tired of always being sick and tired by the way you look. You can’t stand seeing yourself in the mirror, so you decide it’s time to go to the gym.
You work out for a day or two. What happens after that? Do you see any results? Do the people around you?
If nothing changed, are you a failure? What happened?
Do a lot of people give up because after one, two, twenty workouts, there’s still no visible change? There’s no one to acknowledge their work? What if they quit, and then start over, and then quit again, and then start again… and one day, they just keep going?
If they keep working out, going to the gym, day after day after day, and then, one day, they look in the mirror and they go like, “Wow.” And all their friends and family congratulate them on what they achieved.
Is that the moment when they became successful? Or did everything before that moment lead to the moment when everyone else acknowledged their success?
Why do I use a graphic of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs so often in my articles? Because it informs us of a reality key to a successful life as a person and as a culture.
I began studying psychology in 1969, as a Freshman in college. I had a predisposition to being interested in human behavior. I felt the same about psychology as I imagine a lot of people do about chemistry, engineering, nutrition, or medicine. I felt psychology held the keys to understanding and improving the quality of life for everyone. During my Sophomore year I changed my major to psychology (it had been music).
As time went on, I found myself in a wide range of environments, exposed to just about the full gamut of human behaviors. All through this time I have had the good fortune to be exposed to instruction ranging from the cutting edge, the…