What do most people want to get out of their short years on the planet? Many would say that they want an overall sense of happiness and fulfillment, and to have a good ride on the earth as it spins around the sun — but is that what they really work toward?

A lot of people have this kind of logic:

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

First, one’s physiological necessities must be met. You’re not going to be happy if you don’t have the basics, which means food, water, clothing, shelter — these are all things that we need in order to fulfill our most biological necessities. Sexual needs also probably fall into this category. Either way, it stands to reason that without our most basic biological needs being met, there is no way we can be happy and fulfilled.

Second, we have to be safe. This can apply to physical safety, but also financial. We want that blanket of security over our shoulders, which can empower us to succeed elsewhere in life.

Sound familiar? We’re working our way up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, like it’s a ladder or a video game with multiple levels.

So the next step is love and belonging. Many people long for this next level, hoping it will be a doorway to the top two — that falling in love will make someone feel whole and solve their issues of self-esteem or other problems that permeate their minds.

Many achieve this step, build a family and have friends they drink with every Saturday and barbecue with every Sunday.

Playing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs might be a misinterpretation of what he meant, and “happiness and fulfillment” might not have been his end goals here. Regardless, many people incidentally climb this ladder as if one stage leads to the next.