Six Core Needs – Why do I do that?

Have you ever wondered why we do what we do?

In coaching and human behaviour we know that while each human being is unique, we also share nervous systems that function in the same way, which means there are finite number of human behaviour patterns that we all have in common – we just put them together in many different ways.

The Six Core Needs is one such pattern that is regarded as one of the most influential in how we live and function as a society and critical to how we achieve happiness and fulfillment or live a life of quiet desperation since all behaviour meets one or all those six needs.

In any given moment, these six core needs are the source of lasting, sustainable happiness and fulfillment. Unfortunately they’re also the source of addictions, violent behaviour and depression.

How can the same six needs give such completely different results?

Let’s take a look. First up, here are the Six Core Human Needs from Anthony Robbins.

  1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure, safety, security
  2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli, adventure
  3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed, independence
  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

 

The Six Core Needs are broken into two parts – the top four are needs of the Ego, and the last two are needs of the Spirit. The top 4 are the most compelling and as much a part of our life as gravity – doesn’t make sense and we don’t always like it but I still don’t recommend you test the theory.

You’ll notice that they’re also in sets of two that look contradictory to each other – Certainty and Uncertainty/Variety, Significance and Connection/Love. That’s because with each set there is such thing as too much of a good thing.

Have you ever noticed that when things become to certain, too much routine, too much same-same groundhog day then we’ll find a way to spice things up a bit, “Variety is the spice of life” they say.

And have you ever seen significant people that appear to have it all, fame and fortune, but feel alone and spiral out of control because they cant find real connection and love?

Whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, our top four needs are being met every day as they have become crucial to our survival, but we all meet and prioritise them differently. As a general rule, we each have a top two “driver” needs and the priority we choose will impact every aspect of our life, and can cause major conflict – especially in our careers and relationships – if we need to  interact with people with a different priority order.

Every need is happening, but which one do YOU prioritise?

Four needs of the Ego
Six Core Human Needs – Four needs of the Ego

On a day to day basis we always have all 4 top needs happening, but there are two in particular that will drive our decisions – one from each set, and within those two there will be one that sits as number 1 priority – the tie breaker Driver need.

To work out your number one Driver, look at each need asking “If you could only have one or the other, which would you choose?” Then take the one you choose and compare it with the next one down.

For example – Certainty or Variety – Certainty. Certainty or Significance – Certainty. Certainty or Connection/Love – Certainty. Number 1 need is Certainty.

Then for number two, do the same with the remaining 3 needs.

Variety or Significance – Significance. Significance or Connection/Love – Connection/Love. Connection/Love or Variety – Connection and Love. Number 2 need is Connection/Love.

Be aware though that the words themselves can impact on people’s choices so make sure you use the descriptions above to get a true representation of your number 1 and 2 driving needs.

When faced with a decision, everyone will decide on the behaviour’s or actions to take based on their driving need, people who are driven by certainty/security will make very different decisions about careers, holidays and investments with a level of risk, to people who are driven by variety/adventure.

This can lead to a lot of challenges for couples trying to plan a holiday if they have different priority drivers…

Sliding Scales

Even within the priority drivers, there is difference. Imagine that each need set is 100%, within each one we each have a sliding scale balance point where we feel the most comfortable – our natural balance.

If someone has Certainty as number one then it could mean that they have anywhere from 51% Certainty to 99% Certainty (49% Variety to 1% Variety)

This changes the behaviour extremes.

  • 60% Certainty – likes going to the same restaurant, prefers a secure job
  • 75% Certainty – has a set daily routine, prefers an autonomous role they are in control of.
  • 90% Certainty – needs to be in control of most aspects of life, often displays OCD behaviour’s, does not respond well to sudden change

Sometimes our sliding scales get out of whack either by our choice or someone else’s, and when they do it creates extra stress that needs to be managed and brought back into alignment. Read about how to handle change here.

Resourceful / Unresourceful

As we meet the top four needs, our behaviour will be either be resourceful or unresourceful – which forms the most dramatic difference between fulfillment or frustration.

Consider the following questions. Is this behaviour:

  • Internal or External Driven?
    • Internal – 100% up to me and reliant on my actions and perspective to succeed
    • External – requires other people or things to go right or be controlled to succeed.
  • Sustainable or Unsustainable
    • If everyone did this same behaviour would the world/business/community be a good sustainable place to be?
  • Ecological
    • Good for me, good for you, good for the greater good?

Resourceful behaviour’s= internal driven, sustainable, ecological.

Unresourceful behaviour’s = external driven, unsustainable, not ecological.

Six Core Human Needs and behaviours from Anthony Robbins - why we do what we do
Six Core Human Needs and Behaviour’s

 

It is important to remember that with all behaviour it is still context dependent so while the behaviours here are generally considered to be resourceful or unresourceful – there will still be certain contexts or extremes that push them to the other side. Eg. Cleaning is a resourceful way to meet your need for certainty, but obsessive compulsive cleaning can lead to an inability to leave the home. Drug taking is an unresourceful way to meet the need for variety but many chronic pain sufferers smoke marijuana to be able to find relief from the pain. Read more here.

Needs of the spirit.

Six Core Human Needs - Two needs of the Spirit
Six Core Human Needs – Two needs of the Spirit

The final two needs are unattainable until the top four are being met in a resourceful way. They’re also the most compelling needs that can pull us forward through more challenges than the top four alone.

Many people say that growth and learning can be achieved at the same time as unresourceful behaviours (enter university…) but there always comes a point where the next level or growth requires a decision to let go of the old behaviour for the new  – like throwing off sandbags from a rising hot air balloon.

The final need is the source of ultimate happiness which is being able to contribute to others in meaningful way. There is a reason that we all rally together in a crisis. As humans we’ve learnt that there is survival not just of the fittest but in our society its how we work together and the community we have around us.

At our core, we have a need to want to help others for no other reason than it just feels good. As Zig Ziglar said – “If I help enough people’s dreams come true, mine get taken care of.”

 

 

With thanks to Anthony Robbins

https://training.tonyrobbins.com/the-6-human-needs-why-we-do-what-we-do/

Reason, Season, Lifetime friends

People always come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

The author of this poem is unknown but I am forever grateful for the insights it brought me over the years.

I used to worry that I didn’t have any friends from high school and that the “popular” kids seemed to have such happy lives….. turns out popular doesn’t always mean happy…

Sometimes it’s ok to let people go.

When you go though a test of life, they say that’s when you know who your true friends are. And sometimes the power of great friendships can be diminished simply because of the “where are they now” effect later in life.

But that doesn’t actually mean that the friendship you had wasn’t real, it just may have been meant to be for a reason or a season, not a lifetime.

Reason, Season or Lifetime

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually.

They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die. Sometimes they just walk away.

Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.

They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.

Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life.

People will come into your life every day for a reason, season or a lifetime – just make sure you keep open to all friends.

And when you find them, when you feel the connection of a new friendship, embrace it, enjoy it for all the depth and richness it will bring.

But keep in mind that while all friendships are necessary and happening along your journey, the lifetime friends are the ones that seem to matter the most in the ends. They’re the “true friends” everyone tells you about.

They’re the ones that are always there.

They may start as reason or season friends – but they have the power to cross the divide. When you still keep in touch after the season ends…

when you can sustain conversations about more than just the reasons….

then you may have just found yourself a lifetime friend.

They’re the ones who love you for all of you. The good, the bad, the downright ugly. That ask what’s wrong and want to know the answer. They pick you up when you’re down, ground you when you’re flying out of control.

Whatever temptation, whatever distraction, whatever the reason or seasons that come along the way – nothing, not work, not money now short term wins, nothing is worth sacrificing a lifetime friend.

You’ll hurt them, they’ll hurt you and no matter what, it will all be forgiven, water under the bridge because at the end of the day, nothing matters more than the lifetime of love.

Thank you friends.

The Mayonaise Jar of Life

The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem, almost too much to handle,
When 24 Hours in a day is not enough,
Remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.


A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly,
He picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar
And proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students, if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured
them into the jar.   He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open Areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.  The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor,   as the laughter subsided,
‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things – family, children, health, Friends, and Favorite passions –
Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, Your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else –The small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’  He continued,
there is no room for  the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff,
You will never have room for the things that are important to you.

So…

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play With your children…Take time to get medical checkups…Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal..

‘Take care of the golf balls first — The things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. ‘I’m glad you asked’.
It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.’