19 May, Sunday
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The library of essays of Proakatemia


Kirjoittanut: Jetro Sukkela - tiimistä Motive.

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I guess we all have seen this good old Maslow’s five tier pyramid which is a model for understanding human needs and motivation. Psychology is not always such a clinical science, but these thingies can be reliable in communication, learning and developing ideas. If you know the pyramid, you can skip right away to the diamond.

At the bottom of this pyramid are the most important needs, such as nutrition, shelter and, apparently, reproduction, because it is a prerequisite for the continuation of life. The second lowest level covers health, a sense of security and coping with the environment. On the third level, we can already get to more luxury things, such as belonging, love and friendship. The fourth level contains the need for a sense of value, and at the top layer we find superhuman powers, such as the need to create something new and self-transcendence etc. (Mcleod 2023)

The lowest levels comprise more deficiencies and contain external sources of motivation. The longer you don’t eat, the hungrier you will be. Food is an external source of motivation and hunger is an endogenous or internal motivation. The higher you look up the pyramid, the more it’s about internal motivation, like urge to create something new and the meaning of life. So, yeah, it’s not just about needs but also about motivation. (Mcleod 2023)

Why the hierarchy?

If you are about to starve to death naked in a blizzard, you don’t think about painting the next Mona Lisa and such. The idea of hierarchy is how we must guarantee the most crucial needs before we have time, energy, and ability to fully feel the need for self-actualization, to find the internal motivation to thrive.

And here comes Maslow’s rival!!!



Just one new way of thinking about it. In Finnish this is called Motivation Diamond, so be it. I showed this picture to some during essay source -paja and the first comment I got was something like “That’s only about motivation, because here in Finland you don’t have to think about survival” but this includes also physical needs like food, sleep, warmth etc. And I’ve been living on the streets occasionally scavenging for food in permanent darkness even here in Finland.

This diamond includes a new dimension in the equation. It’s a community dimension, while the previous model depicted only one dimension, growth alone. When we add this dimension, the model is shaped like you can grow to your full potential when you move from yourself towards community. It also works the other way around. If you completely forget about yourself in the pursuit of the common good, you will miss out on your peak potential. (Martela 2015)


The y-axis describes meaningfulness of life, and the x-axis describes the amount of communality in life. Acceptance in the community has played an important role in human history, at a time when one person alone could not secure a living. It has left a sense of need for community in today’s human beings. (Martela 2015)


When your survival is secured, you can more easily focus on the purpose of life. One part Is AUTONOMY, the need to do things. Combined with the CONNECTION you want to do things together. PROWESS section describes your will to be skillful and combined with CHARITY you’ll bring social prosperity to the community, which supports the others’ path to relevance too. It has been studied that good given to others brings more joy to the giver than giving good to oneself. (Martela 2015)



THOUGHTS                          LEVEL OF MOTIVATION                   DRIVING FORCE

“I won’t do…”                                   No motivation                         No hope nor purpose

“I must do…”                                 External control                     Rewards and punishments

“I should do…”                             Internalized control                 Shame and self-coercion

“I want to achieve…”                 Integraten regulation             The goal is a part of the identity

“I want to do…”                           Internal motivation                      Doing itself rewards


All this are well suited for work communities.

“The meaning of life is about doing things meaningful to you in a way that makes yourself meaningful to other people.” (Martela 2021)




Mcleod, S. 2023. Simply Psychology: Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs. Read April 28th 2023. https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

Martela, F. 2015. Valonöörit – Sisäisen motivaation käsikirja. Gummerus

Martela, F. 2021. Elämä on hauras – siksi se kannattaa tuhlata kaikkeen merkityksettömään kuten jalkapalloon. Read April 28th 2023. https://frankmartela.fi/tag/elaman-tarkoitus/

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