The 6 Basic Needs That Drives All Human Behavior

Tony Robbins originally posted this on his LinkedIn, then in his book, MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom 

Tony Robbins says that whatever we pursue, whether it’s getting married, building a business, or traveling the world, is simply an attempt by your brain to meet one or more of the six human needs. Meeting these six needs is the formula to happiness and living a fulfilling life.

These six basic needs make us tick. They drive all human behavior, and they are universal. We all have the same six needs, but how we value those needs, and in what order, determines the direction of our life.

Tony Robbins

What you’re really after is what you think money is going to give you”

Need 1: Certainty/Comfort

This is our need to feel in control and to know what’s coming next so we can feel secure. It’s the need to avoid pain and stress and to create pleasure. This need affects how much risk we’re willing to take. Too much of this need will feel great at first, but then you’d eventually feel pretty bored.

Need 2: Uncertainty/Variety

We need variety and surprises. Even the bad surprises are what helps us grow and build character.

Need 3: Significance

We all need to feel important, special, unique and needed. Some people get this by earning billions of dollars or collecting academic degrees to distinguish themselves from the crowd. You can build a following on social media or get tattoos and piercings. Some people get significance by having more or bigger problems than anybody else. Unfortunately, one of the fastest ways to get significance in the easiest way is through violence. If someone puts a gun to your head, in that moment he becomes the most significant thing in your life right?

Need 4: Love and Connection

Love is the oxygen of life; it’s what we all want and need the most. When we love completely, we feel alive, but when we lose love, the pain is so great that most people settle on connection, the crumbs of love.

These first four needs are what Tony calls the needs of personality. We all find ways to meet these needs. These last two upcoming needs are the needs of the spirit. These are rarer and not everyone meets these. When these are met, we truly feel fulfilled.

Need 5: Growth

Tony says “if you’re not growing, you’re what? You’re dying”. If a relationship isn’t growing, if a business isn’t growing, if YOU are not growing, then you will not experience real fulfillment. And the reason we grow, Tony believes, is so that we have something of value to give.

Need 6: Contribution

As corny as it may sound, the secret to living is giving. Life is about we and not me. Think about it, what is the first thing you do when you get good/exciting news? You call someone you love and share it. This is because sharing enhances everything you experience.

Understanding these needs can greatly benefit you in your daily life, and in your work. The next time you’re creating that sales pitch or your next marketing ad campaign, keep these 6 basic needs in mind to better understand human behavior and why we do what we do.

If you’re unfamiliar with the work of Tony Robbins, I highly recommend you check him out. He has mentored some of the largest leaders in our world today and is a master at spirituality and guiding individuals to living a successful and happy life. If you’re interested, check out his website here.