There are four very important aspects of anyone’s life. You have your personal life, your professional life, your social life, and your physical life. In my experience, in order to reach what one would call ‘happiness’ is to have all four of those just where you want them. It’s a balancing act. If one is out-of-place, the others seem to follow suit. But why? Why must they all be so in sync? Is it your outlook? Or is it perspective?
In my opinion, it is a tad bit more complicated than, my career sucks, but my body is rocking, therefore I am unbalanced. No, it goes much deeper. Henry Murray, an old-time psychologist, once spoke about the Theory of Psychogenic Needs, and how each person has them, but that as an individual we posses different levels of each. He defines a long list of needs, but focuses on three main ones in which each of us can be categorized. These needs are as follows, the need for power, the need for affiliation, and the need for achievement. Simply put, these are quite self-explanatory and you can probably pick and choose who you think is what. But once you actually put some thought into what these “needs” are, and the behavior in which people act to meet these needs, you begin to notice the predominant need in not only yourself, but the people around us.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about what need dominates my inner most being. It was always a toss-up for me between the need for power and the need for achievement. I began to think I was some sort of hybrid that Murray had forgotten to mention. However, as I grow, as I recognize my everyday actions or lack their of, in some cases, I realize which need assumes control. This is the need for achievement. This achievement must be met in every aspect of my life if I want my life to be balanced. I must achieve physically, professionally, socially, and personally.
I don’t need to be recognized, praised or even rewarded. I need to know that I, and I alone, accomplished what I set out to do. It must be so that I overcame the challenge that myself, or perhaps another, set affront. Of course, lets not be silly, and say I don’t love a great compliment every now and then. Who doesn’t? But compliments are merely for the sake of your ego, and it complements your need accordingly. No pun intended.
If I am achieving in one aspect of my life, but not another, I can feel it. Something feels off. Life doesn’t quite feel perfect. That isn’t to say Im a raging hot mess and miserable. Because, that will never be the case. However, this void leaves hints all over the place, and hints that one must always keep their eyes open for. Sometimes subtle, sometimes in your face, once you figure it out, life all the sudden becomes much clearer. It is like the fog sort of disappears from the path, and you now know where you are going again.
Now, back to this perspective. Naturally, we are all going to have different perspectives of what makes each aspect of our lives perfect because of this need that governs our personality. An individual with a need for power is going to view their social situation much differently than a person with the need for affiliation or even the need for achievement. So what is it? Are we just pre-programmed to have the perspectives we already do? Or do they evolve with time? Outlooks change, but does perspective? I’d like to think that perspective can change, but as I look back, I begin to think it is merely outlook, and that our perspective remains constant.