Maslow and Swanson: A pairing of pyramids

26 Apr

In 1943, Abraham Maslow published his groundbreaking theory on the hierarchy of needs. This theory described human motivations, starting from the most basic and moving up to the more advanced. As you satisfy the bottom needs, you will work your way up the pyramid towards satisfying the more advanced. The ultimate goal was to get to the top of the pyramid, self-actualization, or the desire to realize one’s full creative potential.  

In 2011, Ron Swanson, the greatest boss on TV,  debuted the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. This pyramid is a set of life  instructions and qualities with each level built on the other designed to help one reach the top of the pyramid–Honor.

Originally, I thought I had to figure out which pyramid was more relevant in today’s world. But it’s hard to put these two in a battle against each other. They each offer valid points and provide insight into our lives. Rather than competing, I think they can go hand in hand in perfect harmony, like Ebony and Ivory or peanut butter and chocolate or unicorns and glitter (thanks, Flo!), and provide us with a comprehensive way of looking at life. It’s nice to have guidelines, like speed limits and daily caloric intake.

Plus, Swanson’s kind of funny.


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