Weekly Challenge


Nature’s Power and Maslow

Well Ireland has experienced its worst storm in 50 years and when I ventured out after the storm the destructive power of nature was very much in evidence.  Also in evidence were very many really hard working personnel who braved the elements to clear fallen trees, restore electricity and phone lines.

Given the scale of the damage, my home in the countryside will remain without power and water (the pump on the well needs that pesky electric current) a little longer and this has seriously reminded me that whether we get stressed or not involves a huge element of how we process things in our heads. I have chosen, not to let stress in, but to stay in the moment and deal with each issue as it arises.

As I write, I am into day 3 of a very, very simple lifestyle, although at this stage, 21st century, first world “necessities” are just a car drive away. However now that Nature has shown her Power I have had time to think (well there wasn’t much else to do) and look at what I have learned from the experience – which is where Maslow and his Hierarchy of needs comes in.

Firstly as we had plenty of advance warning of this storm I had ensured that there was plenty of food and water (lots of containers were filled).   I am fortunate to have a gas hob so no dependency on electricity.  Equally I had no fear or worries about my home as there was plenty of wood for the stove and it is a solid house.  So the basic physiological elements of Maslow’s hierarchy of food and shelter were sorted regardless of the weather.  I am very aware however that in my local town there was a frenzy of purchases at all the food outlets as soon as the storm abated so not everyone had connected with the reality of storms and power outages.

What were not sorted for me were my love and esteem needs, and in the absence of phone lines and wi-fi, I quickly realized the extent to which I use technology to connect with others.  Whether it is family, friends, colleagues or clients, technology has become a central part of the process by which I connect with others.

I have written previously about going technology free at weekends but then it is me choosing not to use technology.  Compliments of Storm Ophelia my non-use of technology was imposed!  However, the storm has highlighted to me that I have through my use of technology created an unnecessary risk to my well-being and I now need to take action and re-consider how I nurture and feed my social and self-esteem needs to reduce my dependency on technology.

And so my challenge to you this week is to consider your social and esteem needs.   To what extent has the process by which you nurture and develop those needs have become embedded in technology and the actions of others.   What actions can you take to broaden the base by which you nurture your higher level Maslow needs!

Warm Wishes