Like Maslow stated in his theories on the hierarchy of human needs, that would explain people’s motivation behind their actions: “It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled?” Maslow identified that human beings have a big tendency to always look for something more, like they are never really satisfied in their life.
In his pyramid of human meeds, Maslow identified certain levels of needs that human beings would want to fulfil during the course of their lives, in the purpose of finding happiness and fulfilment. And these needs in his mind explain why people do the things that they do.
He categorised two main level of needs: the basic needs, which are: the physiological needs that include the need for food, water, shelter, sex and sleep. Then you have the higher needs which are the need for self-actualisation and the need for transcendence.
“What a man can be, he must be” quoted from Maslow, to explain the need for self actualisation which is the need to find your own potential and be the best you can be in that potential. This need would explain the need to always wanting to outdo yourself, challenge yourself to understand your limit and your capacities. The transcendence need comes after, it is the need to help others fulfil their own potential.
At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency’. (Maslow, 1943, p. 375)
Now if we look closely on the self-actualisation need, it would be interesting to know what we find relating the need for human beings to always excel in their science research to understand their full capacities in this world.
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately happy” In these words spoken by Maslow, fulfilling your potencial is crucial to be genuinely happy and satisfied in your life. Now if we look at the domain of science, “a scientist must research”. It is interesting to understanding how far can human beings go to fulfil their self actualisation need that is so crucial to their well-being.
When talking about self actualisation, we talk about : the pursuit of knowledge, expression of one’s creativity, a quest for a spiritual enlightenment…
On a humanistic level, being the best human beings that we can be, to truly excel in our capacities and knowledge to truly be happy and accomplished, does that make “technology” our number one solution to fulfil our true potential as habitant of this Earth?