Short Thought: Maslow is Upside Down
Maslow's pyramid traditionally has the wide end of the pyramid at the bottom, with Physiological needs being the biggest layer, and self-actualization being the smallest. In the western consumer world, this now seems upside down. We have very few needs (shelter, food) and a superfluity of wants and desires (five billion people do not having this luxury of course). In fact, as each layer goes up, it multiplies the number above. Example: Love and belonging lead to esteem in many ways - low-fat lattes and gym memberships are two means of satisfying those. One of the critiques of Maslow is that he took an overly Platonic view of "actualization", where each person strove to achieve their single utmost goal in life, hence it being at the "peak". (One of the other critiques is he didn't define very well what actualization actually meant...). Today our cup runneth over with shelf-loads peak experiences, each competing to out-peak the next.