Thursday, February 15, 2018

Self Actualized

Maslow's Hierarchy is a motivational theory that contends that individuals are motivated to achieve the lowest level that the individual has not yet achieved.  By way of example, the person who is gasping for breath is not motivated by the pursuit of creativity.  Their actions are dedicated to getting more oxygen in their lungs.

The Marine recruiting slogan of "Be All You Can Be" is an appeal to the desire to be at the pinnacle of the motivational pyramid.

Small Business Owners
As a group, I believe that the owners of small businesses are among the most "self actualized" people on earth.

The small business owner never knows what skill-set will be called upon on any random day.  It might be running a marathon when a piece of equipment is broken, it might be first-aid skills or counseling or being a mechanic.  It can be accounting or tax law or conflict resolution.  Taking inventory or juggling production schedules or performing chemistry calculations.

At this point the small business owner would raise an eyebrow and say, "I am not motivated by those things.  I do them to survive."

Granted.  However, you need a tolerance, if not desire, for the exhilaration of outrunning the tiger.  It helps to be an adrenaline junkie but is not absolutely necessary. 

I wonder how much of regulator's animus toward business owners is motivated by envy.

Surely they went to college and penned the usual drivel in their yearbooks about "...becoming self actualized..."  And there they sit in their anonymous cubicle, in an anonymous building in a boring city and answering to a no-nothing boss.

How could they not be envious?  How could they not be angry at themselves for not having the guts to start their own business? 

The answer:  Replace the envy with self-righteousness and a feeling of moral superiority.  That will smother the envy.  You bet.  Squash those business owners.

Note:  One of my coffee drinking buddies used to milk cows.  He got out of the business after a regulator wrote him up for having two, 40W fluorescent tubes beside the mirror behind the worker washbasin rather than a 100W incandescent bulb on the ceiling twelve feet above the wash basin.



  1. OSHA will always write you (business) up for something, even something that didn't occasion a write up on previous occasions and is not in the book. They do it to fund the program and as a means of showing job performance and security.
    It has nothing to do with self perception. They could care less.
    Businesses look at it as a cost of doing business.

  2. Several years ago, my neighbor was trying expand a business he owned in Escanaba in the U.P. Locals okayed it, DNR okayed it. Then along came the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality). The work would impact a roadside ditch inside the city limits that had, hold your breath, cattail plants in it. Of course that meant it was a fragile wetland per the experts at the DEQ. Despite the fact the DEQ couldn't even provide a written definition of a wetland, it cost my neighbor over $100,000 to create a wetland on another property he owned before the project was allowed to proceed. My takeaway is; the DEQ knew a wetland wasn't involved, they just did what they did because the could. Bastards all.


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