Anthony Robbins conceptualised that every human has 6 basic needs, and each one of us need one thing more than another. It is important to find out what you need most and work on it. Not only can this be used for yourself, it can be useful in evaluating problems in relationship. And surprisingly, it is impossible to fulfil all 6 needs at once because they are in conflict. Let’s define the 6 needs first.
1. Certainty/Comfort. Comfort and certainty suggest the same meaning. Think comfort zone. There is certainty in the comfort zone because you are so familiar with things you do, and place you go. Like it or not, we do crave for certainty, that is why you routinize our tasks. The fact that you prefer to work for someone else and get a regular paycheck instead of becoming an entrepreneur, shows that you value certainty. Certainty makes us comfortable and without the stress to handle unwanted surprises. It also accounts for the reason for resisting change. Certainty can also be the little things in life. You want to be certain you get water the moment the tap is turned. You want to be certain there’s food when you are hungry.
2. Variety. Paradoxically, there will be a time where you need variety to provide spice and adventure in our lives. Did your partner complain that you are boring? Always eat the same thing and visit the same old places? After enjoying certainty in life, you will feel monotonous and would like to change some things around. For example, change of job and home.
So do you crave for certainty or variety? The answer is you need both, but at different times. You will oscillate between certainty and variety. Some people would value certainty more than variety and vice versa. How about you and your partner? If you prefers certainty and your partner prefers variety, do you think arguments can potentially manifest from the difference?
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3. Significance. You definitely want significance. Everyone does. You are a unique human being on this Earth and you demand to be respected for that identity. Think of seeking attention as a process of getting significance. As a baby or toddler, you cried for attention. You would want to get attention from your parents for the things you have done well, like a piece of drawing. As a grown up, you want to gain respect in your area of expertise and get recognised for your efforts.
4. Connection/Love. No man is an island. Everyone craves for love and connection. You need love from different people – partner, children, family and friends. It is the kind of support that you receive when you are vulnerable.
There is a potential conflict between significance and love. When you are significant, it is very hard to show your vulnerable side to receive love and support. It is equally difficult for you to connect with someone when you try to be tough. Usually, men seek more significance than love, while women prefer otherwise.
Before going to the fifth and sixth needs, the first 4 needs have to be fulfilled first. Some people may already struggle with the 4 and not able to reach 5 and 6.
5. Growth. There’s a saying you will die if you stop growing. You need to seek improvement in your life and that is why you work hard to change your situation. If you stop yearning for growth, you will lose all desire to live and there will be no purpose in life. Growth is endless.
6. Contribution. When you are able to contribute to the society, this means that you have more than enough for yourself. Thereafter, you get much more joy in giving than receiving.
So how much of your needs are fulfilled at this moment? The more needs you can fulfilled, the happier you will be.