Each one of us is blessed with 24 hours in every day. But what we do with those 24 hours varies enormously.
Some spend their time simply surviving. If you’re battling against poverty or disease, very little may be achieved in a day, other than making it through to the next.
The same is true of those who flee from conflict, or who endure its hardships. Each day may bring death or catastrophe, and success is measured simply by survival.
Some live alone, or are trapped in an unloving or abusive relationship. They dream of friendship, family or simply acceptance by others. Depression or loneliness kill any chance to make the best of their lives.
Some are locked in a struggle to achieve self-esteem. Materially, their needs are met, yet despite their best efforts they lack recognition for their work. Their contribution so often seems to be of little value. Or, while outwardly they gain status and respect, their need for inner satisfaction and freedom is frustrated.
And yet others do amazing things. Through courage, hard work and self-mastery, they free themselves from physical constraints, build positive relationships with others, command respect, and enjoy the satisfaction of making a contribution towards society and helping others achieve their goals. In 24 hours they can change the world.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, each of us exists on one of these levels, or spends parts of our day on different levels. While I write this blog, I feel like I’m on the top of this hierarchy. It’s a privilege to spend time up here. At other times, I operate at a lower level, struggling with my career or material concerns. Yet I am fortunate never to face the bottom-most levels of the pyramid. Many people spend all their day in that place. They must feel like their lives are wasted.
I am glad to live in a world where more people than ever before spend more of their time making a difference. Imagine what the world will be like when we can all spend our days being the best possible version of ourselves, engaged in higher goals of altruism and self-actualization.