Fundamental Flaw In Maslow's Pyramid
Bernhard Keim, Business Consultant, Germany, Premium Member
As convincing as Maslow looks at first sight, there is a fundamental error in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. His pyramid is driven by self-actualization, i.e. egocentrism. But MEANING matters more.
"The man who has a why to live bears almost every how." as the Austrian psychologist Victor Frankl emphasized. But meaning takes place on every stage of the pyramid or not. The pyramid suggests that meaning increases the closer you come to the top and this is just not the case. “Only in the degree man fulfills meaning, to this very degree he fulfills himself: Then individual fulfillment is reached on its own – as an effect of self actualization, and not as its aim.”
For example, a teacher might be paid less than a manager, nevertheless he will regard his work not as less meaningful. A manager might receive an extraordinary high payment, nevertheless he will suffer from burn-out, if he is working hard, but does not find anymore meaning in what he is doing.