A while back I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life. I was at a business seminar with my wife when the presenter, Tony Robbins, talked about his theory on human needs. Many years ago, he recognized that there are six key forces that drive human behavior. These forces drive the decisions we make, how we feel about things and how we respond. According to Tony, the Six Human Needs are:
Of the six needs, the first four are “Basic” needs and number 5&6 are secondary needs that generally can be met only after the first four are secure. In other words, people tend to focus on growth and contribution at a higher level once they feel a reasonable level of achievement in the first four human needs. Further, if an experience or feeling meets at least 3 of the needs simultaneously, it can be highly addictive.
Although each person experiences all six needs, the order in which they drive behavior is not of equal importance to everyone. For example, some people may value Certainty more strongly than others and some may find the need for Love & Connection to be their primary need. In general, there is one that is dominant in each person and a second need that follows. The remaining two, although still important, tend to be lower on the scale than the primary and secondary needs.
My Personal Lesson
As I contemplated the meaning and validity of his theory, I had the epiphany that if I were to meet each of the six needs within my marriage, both Tobi and I would experience a richness and beauty that would exceed our expectations. Further, it would create an addiction that would make our connection more difficult to break. But to do this, I needed a plan.
I will share with you some of the notes and questions I came up with regarding each need. Although there isn’t sufficient space to share my detailed plan for each, I hope to give you a vision of the potential power hidden within the plan.
- Certainty – Per Tony, the need for safety is the most predominant need in most humans. I find this to be true with me as well as for my wife, Tobi. So, I asked the questions – What do I need to do to ensure that she never needs to question my commitment or dedication to her? How can I increase safety in all interactions with her?
- Variety – What does it look like to experience the art of surprise and spontaneity within our relationship? How can I ensure we maintain excitement in our lives?
- Significance – My wife is an exceptional person with many talents and gifts to offer this world. How can I help her to live out her greatness?
- Love & Connection – We all have the need to feel loved and to experience deep connection. Unfortunately, too many give up on love and settle for connection. This is not a place I ever want to be. How do I ensure connection and simultaneously love my wife unconditionally?
- Growth – If we aren’t growing, we are dying. What will be our ongoing source of fuel that keeps us learning and inspired to become better? What daily disciplines are needed to ensure these are ongoing and never stop?
- Contribution – True meaning in life comes from what we give back. While most seek happiness in having more, how will we be different and experience true happiness through the art of contributing our gifts and talents to help others?
Of everything I have learned so far through this process, the idea of fiercely loving my wife through every good time and bad seems to be the greatest lesson. After 23 years of marriage, I’m thankful for every new thought that can help strengthen our relationship.
This is clearly a unique article for me to write. If this has created curiosity within you, I’d love to share the Six Human Needs with you. Please e-mail me for more information to Mike@CityCreekMortgage.com.