The Six Human Needs

The Six Human Needs were initially introduced by Anthony Robbins.

Every day we make certain decisions and take actions. Most of the time we probably don’t give these decisions or actions a second thought.

We tend to filter out the detail of our lives to focus on what’s most important. However, there are certain advantages to knowing — to understanding what motivated us to take a specific action or make a crucial decision. And that is where the six human needs come into the picture.

The six human needs are not desires. They are psychological needs that we consistently work on satisfying on both a conscious and unconscious level of awareness.

These six human needs influence our deepest motivations and determine how we go about prioritising our decisions and actions throughout our life.

In fact, every single day we are unconsciously striving to meet these “needs” with varying levels of success.

These needs are:


1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure
2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli
3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed
4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others.

This drive is encoded in our nervous system.

The means by which people meet these six human needs are unlimited. For example, one of the six human needs is the desire for certainty that we can avoid pain and gain pleasure (i.e. comfort). Some people pursue this need by striving to control all aspects of their lives, while others get certainty by giving up control and adopting a philosophy of faith.

Variety makes us feel alive and engaged. Then there’s the desire for significance—a belief that one’s life has meaning and importance. Some individuals will pursue this need by competing with others, or by destroying and tearing down those around them.

Others may strive to fulfill this need through connection with other human beings.The force of life is the drive for fulfillment; we all have a need to experience a life of meaning.

Fulfillment can only be achieved through a pattern of living in which we focus on two spiritual needs:

1) the need to continuously grow; and
2) the need to contribute beyond ourselves in a meaningful way.

All dysfunctional behaviors arise from the inability to consistently meet these needs.  Look to replace any dis-empowering ways of meeting your needs with things that empower and support you and others.

The mind-body connection

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