Let's Hack Mazlow's Hierarchy

Hack Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs Engineering Stephen started with the realizations that

  • engineering allows us to systematically, reliably solve problems.
  • the lack of happiness is a (pretty important) problem.

Which means that I have a shot at engineering systems that reliably solve it.

So, what if I were to automate happiness?

And what if I could do that at scale?

How would I do that anyways?

First, I started with Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs - a widely accepted recipe for happiness. And now I’m building systems to guarantee each individual requirement.

The Story of Mazlow’s Hierarchy

Abraham Mazlow has a fascinating story.

As a boy, he grew up watching his dad beat and berate his mom. He lived on the outskirts of local society, socially isolated as a Jew in a non-Jewish community. He almost failed out of college. He dropped out of law school.

And then, he used the worst things about his life to fuel the passionate research that led to him being remembered today. He had a meaningful impact on the world at large by studying what was denied to him in childhood: psychological health and happiness.

He is distinct from most other psychologists because the field at large focuses on fixing illness rather than on generating wellness. This is no small gap - it’s the difference between treating a muscle ache and blood doping: one takes you from a negative place to your default neutral state and the other takes from your neutral state to beyond your natural limits.

[As an aside, my goal for this site is to metaphorically automate blood doping, at scale.]

Here’s what he found:

Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs

From the chart, we can see that there are 3 major groups of needs that we need to address:

  • Basic
  • Psychological
    • We’ll need to ensure strong, close relationships
      • Incomplete. Sign up for the mailing list if you’d like to see this solved.
      • For now, I’ve begun using a CRM and lead scheduler to automate keeping in touch with friends and family. My phone calls them and rings at the same time, so I don’t have to decide to call - it’s indistinguishable from them calling me. I’ve also scheduled Whatsapp messages like “It’s been a while Peter! How’s it going?” that go out automatically and rehydrate relationships that would otherwise dry up over time. It feels like there’s a lot more that could be done here.
    • We should also automate the elements of achievement and bolster self esteem.
  • Self fulfilment
    • Vision, Reflection, Self Growth and an iterative approach to life’s challenges
      • Coming soon.

And that’s it. That’s the big plan - use FIRE to cover basic needs, and engineer systems that cover psychological and self-fulfilment needs.