- Physiological needs (food and water)
- Physical safety (shelter)
- Social connection (family and friends)
Once these needs are met, then a person can turn their focus to their inner self, including esteem and self-actualization.
How Survival Is Different in Our Modern World
Hundreds of years ago, survival meant hunting, farming, and building shelter for the family. Even though physiological and safety elements are still necessary, we have a different way of approaching these needs. Instead of hunting with a bow and arrow in hand, a person must provide services as an employee or business owner.
It can feel like a struggle to survive when the grind gets tiring, and you find it difficult to be motivated to go to work.
Survival is important, and if you are stuck in a pattern of struggling to survive, it can feel impossible to move into the next stage of building the life of your dreams. Can you relate to the never-ending battle of paying the bills and keeping up with life responsibilities to the point where you fall into bed exhausted every night?
Next Level: Contribution
I’d like to suggest that the next step is to shift your focus to contribution, which might be just as essential as survival. I believe that contribution is part of our design.
How often do you think to yourself:
- I just want to make a difference.
- What is my life about?
- I want to leave a legacy.
We hear these statements so often that it’s easy to assume that humans are wired to want to create more.
When you look at survival vs. contribution from a tribal perspective, it all makes sense. Humans aren’t designed to survive on their own, so we turn to tribes (family, friends, and business connections). Nature favors contribution, which is why the contributing tribe members are celebrated, and the members damaging the tribe are cast out.
Survival vs. Contribution
Survival needs are always a priority, but staying stuck in survival can be the foundation of drama. In comparison, contribution sets the tone for joy and connection. If you can find a motivation and “why” that is bigger than yourself, then the struggle turns into a more enjoyable process.
Get clear about the difference you want to make in the world. Find ways to infuse contribution into your daily actions. Remember that your power can be found in clarity and language, which is why changing these seemingly small nuances can have a profound impact on overall results.
Support is Available
At Effective Action Consulting, our focus is on helping individuals and businesses move from surviving to thriving. Learn more about available services by scheduling a complimentary consultation.