It’s Blog Action Day and bloggers worldwide are publishing articles on a single topic in order to raise awareness and facilitate action. This year’s theme is poverty. So in honour of this fabulous idea, the following article explains why your healthy living plan should include giving what you can, when you can, to the less fortunate.
Total health is defined by many people as achieving balance and harmony between all aspects of life. Based on this definition, healthy living consists of continually performing actions that strengthen the body, mind, spirit, emotions, relationships, career and your finances. The result of complete health is prolonged feelings of fulfillment, happiness and satisfaction.
The idea of health can be simplified, however. It’s all about fulfilling needs. The most basic ones are those necessary for survival (food, water, shelter, etc). According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, once we’re winning the survival game, we instinctively seek fulfillment at the next level of needs, love & belonging. Esteem needs are next until we reach self-actualization.
Maslow believed that when we’re really rockin’ life and fulfilling all the lower level needs, we become abundant in energy, positive emotions and resources. It’s natural to want to share all your extras because it gives you a sense of contribution – which falls into your esteem needs. My interpretation of this theory is: the healthier you are, the more complex needs you seek to fulfill.
Tony Robbins talks about need fulfillment, too, and believes that emotions are the driving force of all behaviour. In this theory, our motivation for action is in feeling good. We feel good every time we fulfill one of our needs. Robbins’ list subtly differs from Maslow’s:
- Certainty (sustainability, faith, breath)
- Uncertainty (variety, surprise, challenges)
- Significance (feeling special, unique, needed)
- Connection and Love (Nature, family, making love)
- Growth (improvement, learning, progression or evolution)
- Contribution (giving of yourself to others)
We can fulfill these needs positively, negatively or neutrally. They are fulfilled through constructive activities which support yourself or others, destructive behaviour, or actions that neither help nor hinder. Growth and contribution require a level of risk for the individual. I believe they follow a good foundation of health and the continual success in fulfilling the first 4 needs.
In today’s age, most of society has won the survival game. Actually, if you’re reading this – congratulations! Perhaps, and you can evaluate this yourself, you might have extra to give. And you don’t have to have much to give!
For example, DailyChallenge.org is a new social networking site that makes it fun, easy and cost-efficient to contribute to the world at large…every day! In honour of Blog Action Day, Daily Challenge’s challenge of the day is:
“Feed those living in poverty & have fun at the same time! Challenge 2 friends to a trivia play-off at www.freerice.com.”
By giving a little of your time every day to make someone else’s life a little better, you’re creating a healthy habit, building your contribution muscle and fulfilling a complex need. Soon you’ll begin to notice that everything you need to make your life better will fall into your lap. You’ll be closer to total health, happiness and well-being.