The Need to Know
Thanks for reading this last installment of the year. Enjoy the holidays. Decompress and relax.
Our last writing examined the need for mastery—specifically, for prestige and achievement. The need for achievement is concrete, meaning that esteem needs are met through a tangible outcome, such as a credential, an award, or a promotion. The next level of Maslow’s Revised Hierarchy of Needs canvasses the need for cognitive mastery. Cognitive mastery is not rooted in a tangible outcome. Cognitive mastery is abstract and profound, yet a critical need that we desire to fulfill. Consider it the ephemeral what it all means need: the need to understand the way things work and why things happen.
Cognitive mastery also helps to explain why we invest time and money in hobbies and other ancillary interests. We change. Moreover, the esteem needs met through achievement are only one part of a beautifully complex human composition. We are more than our degrees, our trophies, and our job titles.
This is a great segue to the holiday break. You have an opportunity to flex your cognitive muscle and seek out understanding for those myriad other facets of your life. Read a book. Cook something you’ve never prepared before. Take some pictures. Whatever hobbies you have, indulge in getting better and understanding them.
The need to understand is, of course, a pathway to self-actualization and deeper meaning in life. This includes life’s much deeper questions and philosophical conundrums. However, given that the holidays are upon us, I thought I’d focus on the lighter stuff. As I wrote earlier, it is important to relax, especially after a rigorous term.
Enjoy the holidays. I’ll see you all next year.
View the rest of the 52 Tips in 52 Weeks series here!