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Needs Me Competition

A Primal Photo Competition in Seeing Happy


The competition is based on the work of Jer Clifton at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Clifton has shown that there are 26 Primal World Beliefs (primals for short) which are very basic beliefs about the world, such as the belief that the world is beautiful and safe. Researchers suspect that the Primals you hold may color your outlook and actions, and have extensive consequences for your mental health and resilience. If you would like to learn more about the Primals Project click here

The goal of this contest was to identify a photo to represent the “NEEDS ME” primal world belief:

The primal world belief Needs Me concerns whether the world needs you, specifically you, for an important task or to play some particular role. Its opposite holds that the world lacks any particular need for you: though the world may still have needs, you are interchangeable.

This contest aimed to find a photo which captures the meaning of this primal. The winning photo will also be used to symbolize this primal in various of educational materials moving forward, to help educate and inform people about primal world belief research and learn about their own Primals. See here for official contest terms and conditions.

The Primals project explores how individual world view impacts well-being and life trajectory. SeeingHappy is dedicated to using photography and the Arts to pay attention to the best in life and to build optimism and hope. Exploring Primals through photography may be one way to change our world view for the better.

Lastly, we will no longer be accepting selfies which have no element of creative reflection across the site.

PROMPT: Trees need air. Babies need mothers. Flowers need bees. Take a photo that represents the idea that the world needs you for an important task. This is an exercise in thinking deeply about how individuals matter in the world– where would you and your efforts be missed most? Can you take a photo that other people can identify with, that reminds us all that the world needs us as individuals?

DATE: Accepting submissions September 1st – December 15th (5pm). The winner will be announced February 1st on SeeingHappy’s website.

WINNER: At minimum, the winning photo will be featured for at least one year on the main Primal World Belief website, and for at least one year on the Seeing Happy website, The winner will retain all rights to the original photo, but the winning photo will be available to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License. There will also be a $250 Amazon Gift Card emailed to the winner’s email associated with their SeeingHappy account. The winner will be credited as the photographer as feasible, in all uses of the winning photo by Dr. Clifton and/or SeeingHappy. 

Dr. Jer Clifton, PH.D.

Director of the Primals Project

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