What Everyone Desperately Wants and Needs!

What has Oprah Winfrey learned after interviewing 37,000 people? The one thing everyone wants is to be noticed, i.e., do you hear me, do you see me, does what I say matter? That’s right…from Michael Jackson to Barack Obama, and everyone in between, they are all looking for the same thing,   “Everyone you meet just wants to be seen and heard,” Winfrey said on Feb. 8 in Brooklyn, New York, during Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus.  She found that every issue, every problem, at its root between people was someone was being ignored, not heard, and not being noticed in some way.

“I can tell you, in your daily encounters, in your kitchen, in your conference rooms, in your work, in all of your relationships…that is what every person you encounter is looking to know. Did you see me? Do you hear me? And every argument is about that.”

So, let us learn a life lesson from Oprah, as she has made an effort to validate everyone she speaks with, every single day!  She has learned to be “more present” in all her interactions.

Barack Obama, in an interview on his “4 Rules for Networking”, states that you should do your best to build and create relationships, just simply “listen to the people you’re with,” Obama said.(1)

What we are learning from these highly influential figures is that we can all benefit from giving others what they want.  Give people what they want, and they will reciprocate and give you the same!  Obama also stated the following, “real change comes through persuasion and openness to others.”

If you choose not to speak with someone because they are different from your gender, sexuality, race, religion or other defining factors, then “you will not grow and you certainly will not help the person next to you grow.”

“So have a point of view, be rooted in your experiences and don’t be afraid to share those,” Obama said. “But listen, be open, don’t be partisan.” (1)

Ok, so everyone wants to be noticed, be promoted, given a chance to prove their worth, but how can we do this for ourselves, if we are not getting this from those that matter?  Let’s take some advice from a billionaire, Mark Cuban.

“Once you had to wait: to be accepted, to be promoted, to be selected — to somehow be “discovered.”

Not anymore. Access is nearly unlimited; you can connect with almost anyone through social media. You can start your own company, create your own products, attract your own funding … you can do almost anything you want.

You can do it without waiting for someone else to discover your talents. The only thing holding you back is you. And your willingness to try.” (2)

So, what about all the “other” things we want in life?

Abraham Maslow, author, psychologist, wrote in “A Theory of Human Motivation” and his subsequent book Motivation and Personality, proposed a hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy suggests that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving on to other, more advanced needs. Once we fulfill our basic needs, food, shelter, etc., we immediately move to the next level.

The seeds of the hierarchy of needs were planted when Maslow was a young psychologist doing research on monkeys. He noticed that if a monkey were really hungry and really thirsty, it would work to quench its thirst before working to satisfy its hunger. This made sense to Maslow. Though monkeys (and humans, too) can go long periods without food, they will die very quickly from dehydration. (3)

So, Maslow developed a hierarchy, which is usually represented as a pyramid or a ladder. On the bottom are the needs that must be fulfilled first. As you move up the hierarchy, the needs become less and less about survival and more about becoming the best ‘you’ possible. The levels of the hierarchy, listed from the lowest level and moving up, are:

  1. Physical needs, which are those that involve base biological or physiological needs. These are things like food, water, and shelter.
  2. Safety needs like protection from the elements, security, law, and stability
  3. Social needs like the urge for love and belonging. This can come from romantic relationships, or from family, friendships, or other relationships.
  4. Esteem needs are related to your feelings of self-worth. They include feelings of self-esteem, achievement, and prestige.
  5. Self-Actualization needs which are at the top of the hierarchy, focus on realizing your full potential. People meeting these needs are looking for self-fulfillment and personal growth. (3)

Maslow was much more interested in learning about what makes people happy and the things that they do to achieve that aim. Everyone wants to be happy and everyone wants to be noticed, seen, heard, and feel a sense of worth, i.e., number 4 on the hierarchy of needs.  Once people get to this level they are “one step away” from their full potential!

Everyone would love to rise to his or her full potential.  Give people what they want, and you will get what you want…share the love!

The End