In this bold art for May’s theme of Simplicity, artist Iancu Barbărasă challenges us to reflect on what we actually need versus what we simply want.

As the creative type in the print suggests, our needs are often overshadowed by our wants — so much so that it can be hard to see what our needs actually are.

But where do we begin to understand what it is that we actually need?

In 1943, a 35-year-old psychologist named Abraham Maslow condensed his research into a now-famous diagram: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Image via The School of Life

One of the reasons this diagram is so compelling is that it provides a simple and tangible answer for some of life’s biggest questions: What are we pursuing? And what do we need to achieve it?

Over years of revisiting this diagram in relation to my life, I have come to appreciate that my place on the pyramid is constantly in flux as circumstance and priorities change. 

With our world at a meaningful turning point, it is a unique moment to revisit and distinguish what it is that we need right now.

Reflecting on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs — what do you need right now?

Dave Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. We are such fans of Abraham Maslow that we created a tool and named it in his honor. Two years ago, we launched Maslow — a text-based chatbot for Holstee Members to easily access all member content, like the monthly Art, Guides, Discussion Questions, Quotes and more quickly and more easily from any phone. Give it a try!

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Simplicity.

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Our Themes

Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.