Trevor Pirtle

is creating the book, How to Succeed at Life, Based on Maslow's Hierarchy
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About Trevor Pirtle

"The deal was: universal public education whose sole intent was not to train the scholars of tomorrow—we had plenty of scholars. It was to train people to be willing to work in the factory. It was to train people to behave, to comply, to fit in. 'We process you for a whole year. If you are defective, we hold you back and process you again. We sit you in straight rows, just like they organize things in the factory. We build a system all about interchangeable people because factories are based on interchangeable parts.'” - Seth Godin

Okay, so what is this thing all about and why is it the most important thing ever??

As you're probably well aware, our education system is completely outdated.

Why don't we spend the majority of our time in school learning about things that are actually useful? Why don't we learn about basic shit like...

  • how to be financially responsible
  • how to cook healthy, delicious food
  • how to be fit
  • how to listen and communicate compassionately
  • how to make friends
  • how to be a good person
  • how to process emotions
  • how to listen
  • how to be a good lover
  • how to be confident and feel good about yourself
  • how to be creative
  • how to access flow states
  • how to focus
  • how to be happy
  • how to live a fulfilling life

Education should be focused on teaching people general education. Stuff that is relevant to any humans, anytime, anywhere. We would all be much better off be learning about what all of our needs are as humans and how to fulfill them.

After we have a good grip on the fundamentals, then we can learn to specialize. But so many of us don't know even the most basic stuff. For example, why doesn't everyone know that if the food you made is well salted but still doesn't taste that great, you probably need more acid (e.g., vinegar or lemon juice)? 

Why don't we learn these basic things in school? Why don't we learn real general education? 

The model I've found most effective for framing general education is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. If you aren't familiar with it, check it out. But here's a super condensed version. There are five levels (they're connected in more of a twist-turny, spirally way than a strict hierarchy). You won't feel much of a pull for the higher needs until you at least somewhat meet the lower needs. 

  • Physiological - If you're starving you probably don't care about being healthy, you just want to eat.
  • Safety - If you're sick or broke, you probably don't think about much else besides getting out of the hole. 
  • Love and Belonging - With your basic needs met, you start to crave community, love and affection. 
  • Esteem - Next, you want to feel good about yourself. Being a good person, doing the right thing, honing a craft and being recognized for your talents all help build self-esteem. 
  • Self-Actualization - After most of your needs are met, your purpose becomes to help others fulfill their needs.

What Maslow did was he laid out what we, as humans, need. At the physiological level, if we don't get our needs met, we die. At levels above that, if we don't achieve them, we can feel all kinds of unpleasant emotions like depression, unfulfillment, guilt, stress, boredom, self-hatred, loneliness and even experience an existential or mid-life crises. 

He gave a model of how to indirectly solve the world's problems. For example, it answers questions about why some people just don't care about the environment. That is a problem that happens on the self-actualization level, at the very top. If you want to get more people to care about global warming, you either have to appeal to some other need (e.g., safety or esteem) or you need to help people get their lower needs met so that they can focus more on higher needs. Obviously there is way more needed to solve the world's problems, but this lays a strong foundation on which progress can more easily be made, because it gets people to actually care. 

While Maslow lays out an easy-to-follow hierarchy of needs, he doesn't explain how to fulfill those needs. That's where this book comes in. 

How to Succeed at the Game of Life is all about laying out what our basic needs are and how to meet them most effectively. It makes it crystal clear what areas of our life we are most lacking in and how we can most efficiently take steps towards leading a more fulfilling life. 

This isn't rocket science. It's basic and simple. Which is why everyone (and I rarely use absolutes) needs to know this stuff. If this is what we learned in school, kids what actually enjoy going.

The creation of this book is the first step in the revamping of the education system. It will provide the structure for a podcast and an online course. The online course will provide the structure for a workshop, then a multi-week or month-long immersion, a year-long program, then a two year program, followed by a four year program. The goal is that eventually we will be able to catalyze a revolution in education worldwide from kindergarten through university.

This book is just the first step. Multiple books can and will be written about each of the sub-sections. I am not claiming to be writing about new information, rather my goal is to simply organize and structure information in the most efficient and concise way possible. 

I'm privileged enough to have my physiological, safety, love and belonging and esteem needs met pretty damn well at such a young age (27). The majority of my energy is now freed up to focus on helping people meet their needs. This book is the first step on that path.

Thank you for reading this far. You will get to see this thing unfold from the beginning. Thank you so, so much if you believe in this enough to support me with your hard-earned dollars, or even just by helping spread the message. You will always have a special place in my heart. 

Thank you.


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This will allow me to work full time on the project and devote all of my creative energy to it.
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