Have you ever wondered what is driving your career decisions? How do you measure success in life? Why did you behave in a specific way to that coworker? All of these questions can be answered when you identify how you prioritize the six basic human needs, says life coach and author Tony Robbins.
Every human being is unique, with different thoughts, emotions, perceptions, aspirations and ways of dealing with life. However, each one of these values and beliefs is driven by 6 basic human needs, which are the same for everyone, says Robbins. The difference among individuals originates from the ways in which each individual prioritizes these needs and makes decisions accordingly.
Everybody has goals and desires that are different, but we have the same needs.
In this respect, every dysfunctional behavior (but also every successful accomplishment) originates from the inability (or ability accordingly) to consistently meet these six needs. Let’s take a closer look:
1. Certainty: The need for assurance
Certainty is the need to feel safe, secure, and free from worry and doubt. This need is closely related to the need for comfort and is often expressed through routines and rituals. People who need to feel certain may find comfort in familiar environments and in knowing what to expect. The same people may get stressed in case they miss this certainty and may seek out stability and predictability in order to feel safe.
2. Uncertainty/Variety: The need for the unknown
Do you find yourself in need of changing jobs frequently? Uncertainty, as one of the six human needs, refers to the need to be mentally and emotionally challenged; the need to experience new stimuli and variety. By embracing uncertainty and navigating the unknown, you can remain open-minded and adaptive to change. Uncertainty can also create an environment of exploration and growth, as you can never be quite sure what is around the corner.
3. Significance: The need of feeling unique
Significance refers to the human need to feel important, valued, and appreciated. Most people seek significance through their relationships, career, and achievements. Significance gives people greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives; it helps them to build self-confidence and a sense of control over their lives.
4. Connection/Love: The need for closeness
The need for connection refers to the need to feel loved and accepted by others, to feel that we belong to a group and that we are connected to something larger than ourselves. In this respect, connection is a basic human need because it is associated with our mental and physical health and our overall wellbeing. It is the same need that drives us to build relationships, as a way to find meaning in our lives. Closeness can also reduce stress and anxiety, improve self-esteem and increase overall sense of happiness.
5. Growth: The need of expanding capacity
Growth is associated with the desire to develop and improve ourselves, in any aspect of life, from personal relationships to career and education. The need for growth is why you have been seeking for a new job that will expand your learning opportunities, it will encourage you to learn new skills and become a better version of yourself. Growth is an important part of leading a fulfilling life.
6. Contribution: The need to giving
Contribution, as a human need, describes the desire to give something back to the world and is usually expressed through volunteering, donating money, creating art, or any other form of “giving back”. Contribution is rooted in the belief that we are able to create something meaningful and leave an impact on the world. This helps us feel connected to something greater than ourselves and can lead to a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Why are human needs important for my career life?
The six human needs provide a framework for understanding how to create an environment that is conducive to success. Understanding your own needs can not only help you avoid toxic behaviors and habits but can also help you achieve your goals.
This applies also to business leaders, who provide a starting point for developing strategies to motivate and engage employees. When these needs are satisfied, employees are more likely to be engaged in their work and willing to put in the extra effort to achieve success. For example:
- Knowing what to expect in your career life (certainty) can help you make the relevant decisions and planning in order to reach your goals.
- Having a variety of experiences in your career life (uncertainty) can help you learn, grow and develop skills.
- Feeling valued and appreciated at your work (significance) is the key to motivated, productive and engaged employees.
- Having strong relationships with peers (connection) boosts the sense of commitment and identification with your organization.
- Constantly looking for ways to learn and develop (growth) is a way to remain motivated and competitive in your field, and consequently feel more fulfilled.
- Being able to contribute to something bigger than yourself (contribution) and knowing that your work has a positive impact on others can give you a great sense of satisfaction and pride.
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