- January. 25 2021
When scaling to the peak, and achieving your health and fitness goals, it’s helpful to understand and accept where you are at on the mountain.
I just finished reading Peak by Chip Conley. The subtitle, How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow, pretty much tells you what it’s about. In the book, Chip applies Maslow’s iconic Hierarchy of Needs and his theory of human motivation to business.
Chip switches gears in the last chapter and closes with a discussion of how the Hierarchy of Needspyramid can be applied to leading a fulfilling life and setting personal priorities. It made a lot of sense to me that he describes the three levels in terms of what a person has, does, or is.
You can see these three steps manifested in both how a culture evolves and how humans often mature. The base needs are typically “has” needs: what material things we want in our life to give us safety, comfort, pleasure, or status. As humans and society age, they move beyond the “has” to the “does” needs. As our material needs are met, what one does for a living becomes a more relevant symbol of our identity. At some point “doing” no longer carries currency, at which point the “is” needs predominate at the peak of the pyramid. You see this in wise men and women and in cultures that have learned that having and doing carry you only so far. When someone or something just “is,” it feels pure, essential, powerful, and magnetic. There is a strong sense of presence that accompanies this state of being.
After reading this paragraph, I thought, the same principles could be applied to health and fitness, couldn’t they?
Here is my application of Chip’s (and Maslow’s) pyramid relative to health and fitness.
Physical Results – Achieving tangible, measure, physical results relating to your body, meaning what the scale says, inches lost, how your pants fit, blood test results, etc.
Personal Records – When you are satisfied with the Physical Results you have achieved, you then move to this level, where you want to raise the bar… for fun. You want to see how much more you can achieve. This is where you focus on pushing your limits and challenging yourself mentally and physically.
Who You Are – After you are satisfied with what you’ve accomplished in the Personal Records level, you move to this level, where health and fitness isn’t just something that you do, it’s something that you are.
I believe that this pyramid helps to explain why there are so many different opinions on how to be healthy and fit, because we are all at different levels of our own evolution.
We need to hear different things at different levels of the pyramid. For example, sometimes it’s hard to understand how to make fitness and health a part of who you are, when you really just want to lose 20 pounds or lower your cholesterol.
There is a place for all of the different opinions and approaches on this pyramid and what makes sense and resonates with you depends on where you are on your own journey.
It’s important to recognize that there is no wrong place to be on the pyramid. We are all enough and perfect and valuable just where we are. I don’t think that anyone is any better than anyone else because of what level of the pyramid someone might be currently residing on.
Chip says that as we age we move higher on the pyramid. I agree, yet want to add to that. I don’t necessarily think that age is the determining factor, but instead experience and ability to tune into yourself.
To Live Well 360 is to accept that wherever you are on your personal path to health and fitness, you are enough and you are exactly where you should be. Take time to connect with yourself and make sure that you are being true to the inspiring core beliefs, deep down inside.
And most of all, recognize that climbing the peak isn’t about reaching it, it’s about all the fun stuff you get to experience on the mountain along the way.