After a roast goose and a glass of Merlot, I glazed at the stars. Like countless Homo sapiens before me, I feel so insignificant, so much is unknown, we are so mortal. The quest for immortality drives some of us to build legacies, like cave drawings, like Alexander the Great, or into religion. (is religion just someone's legacy?)
Glazing at fire balls all over the mountains have more impact. Lines of fire receding and advancing, lighting up the night sky into orange, right behind normally picture perfect homes. Come daytime, columns of smoke rise all the way up the blue heavens.
Analyze how much you can, but human needs are just mortal. Self-improvements are just indulgences. Even simple people, after satisfying their basic physiological needs, go on to build legacies, the simplest form being biology, investing all they have on their offspring. While very sophisticated people go on to do nothing much but indulgences, which isn't a bad thing at all.
But indulgences should always be traded off. Indulgences eat up resources that you can invest to further satisfy your mortal needs. And if you don't build enough security, your world can collapse on you all at once. In this aspect I also don't agree that human needs are hierarchical, it's a matrix, it's a pattern, a footprint, and that nothing is really higher up.
American indulges in self-help books to satisfy their security needs. The obsession seem to vary with the degree that US employees are screwed as compared to rest of the world, the lack of social security, and how bad they look from outsiders.
Indulgences eat up your legacy. If he stayed in his palaces, he would not be called the Great. This is somewhat different from the entrepreneurs who couldn't stop after their first million, their first billion, or their first rank in Forbes. They build bigger empires to feel more secure, more respectable, more esteemed and more sense of achievement. They acquire more fuel for their indulgences.
What if I don't believe in religion, and I just have a job, a great job though? Empires don't last. Nobody will remember Ford or Bill Gates after their brands disappear from market. While some wacky patents in the archives live on, if just for laughs. Someone started up a little field, only for later day greats to solve the world's problems and get the Nobel price. How about a writer? Or a script writer who's famous line lives on as well as the film in archives. For some it's easy, on the road from A to B, you just need to contribute something so later day people will admire you, if only a little, when they trace the little steps in the big picture. You are in the big picture. It's as natural as walking into your boyfriend's home and feel that it's under furnished.
Maslow mentioned sex twice in his hierarchy of needs. Perhaps it's that important. Correct me if I'm wrong, the first step in good sex should be building yourself a good body. Some people do, a lot don't even work out. Are the other improvements quick fixes? Do a lot of people trade off the potential of having great sex for their daily chores to survive and to feel secure? What will indulgence ends? Making a snuff movie?
So you are master of your 7-habits. So what?
I feel contented, at peace with myself, happy most of the time, grateful other times of what I have. I don't need any bible, guru, or the pharmacy. My home will be under furnished if I'm allowed to. I crossed path with a speed reading guru briefly and got my writings broken and grammar free as a side effect.
Now I'm going back to finish off the goose. And after that maybe a platonic massage with a cute girl for the full hour.