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BEAN Seattle Blog

What Would You Do if You Are a Millionaire?
I think this is a pretty common late-night drunken question amongst friends. No, the answer really should not be "You know what I would do, man? Two chicks at the same time, man! I have always wanted to do that, and if I have a million bucks, I could probably hook that up." from "Office Space".

Some of you might know Maslow's famous "Pyramid of Needs" (also known as "Hierarchy of Needs") concept. The idea is that as you obtained all that you need at one level, your motivation changes. You then start to need the next level. His theory is that the pyramid starts at Physiological needs (Breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis and excretion). The second level is the Safety needs (Security of body, employment, resources, morality, family, health and property.) The third level is the Love/belonging needs (Friendship, family and sexual intimacy.) The fourth level is the Esteem needs (Self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others and respect by others.) The fifth and highest level is the Self-actualization needs (morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, and lack of prejudice and acceptance of fact.) Having a million dollar will make a big impact on your first two levels of needs, but less so for the next three levels.

As far as the mission of a group like BEAN goes, we can't do too much to help you with the first two levels (Except that venues that host our networking/social events always serve great food, drinks and almost always have bathrooms. I am also pretty such many hook-ups happened as facilitated by BEAN events, mostly unintentionally). But when it comes to the next three levels, you are in luck. You don't even need a million dollar!

Love/belonging (Friendship)

This is especially for young professionals in their 20s and 30s. You work hard and long hours. You are likely in a new city where you don't know a lot of people. When you hit the bars and clubs, all you see are meat markets. How do you meet friends, not just business contacts? BEAN! Our members are young, passionate and eager to meet new friends. Our emphasis is not dating (although it happens) and no heavy on traditional hardcore business networking. We create event and programs where you can connect with interesting people in a relaxed environment.

Esteem (Leadership)

Once you have a solid group of friends in BEAN and participated in the great volunteering and social events, it's natural that you would want to organize some events and programs of your own. Have you always wanted to learn Chinese basket weaving? Have you wanted to organize an urban hike? Have you wanted to get more people together to volunteer for your favorite charity? BEAN offers so many great opportunities for you to lead and create amazing new programs and events. We are constantly looking for leaders with great ideas and passion. Most of our existing events (from orphanage sponsorship to softball team) and programs (from TGAL to scholarship) came from our members.

Self-Actualization (Service)

Now that you have food in your belly, a good job, many great friends and leadership role in BEAN, you are probably thinking about how you are going to leverage your network and resources that you have built partly through BEAN. Do you use it for good or for evil? :) To quote Albert Einstein "Only a life lived for others is worth living". I think for many, the answer is clear. In order to have a self-actualized life, we need to make a positive difference in the world.

For example, BEAN's annual TGAL campaign (Think Global Act Local) has raised over US$100,000 and educated many people in our local communities for various global causes. From Obstetrics Fistula ('04), to Child Soldier in Northern Uganda ('06), to Darfur Genocide ('07), to Clean Water Infrastructure ('08), to AIDS Orphans ('09), we have hosted groundbreaking movie premieres, auctioned off bachelorettes and bachelors, ran around Green Lake, worked with orphans and raised a lot of money. For 2010, TGAL is about a new model of making an impact, Microfinancing. Are you ready to fulfill your highest level of need by rolling up your sleeves and help bring a new solution to some of the world's most entrench problems via microfinancing? Climb to the top of the pyramid (Service) by giving others the tool to climb the pyramid themselves. What can be more fulfilling?

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