Have you heard of the 6 human needs?
No, these aren’t the same ones that were taught in school. Instead, they are a different set of six human needs that determine why you do any and everything in your life.
After attending Tony Robbins, Unleash the Power Within Seminar (UPW), he summarized human behavior into 6 human needs. Tony Robbins is my all time favorite motivational speaker and has traveled to hundreds of countries and worked with millions of people.
Despite traveling the world and helping millions of people, he consistently found that all humans face the same issues. Every person he worked with, no matter the country or background, operated from the same six human needs.
History of the Six Human Needs
Tony Robbins first introduced these six humans needs over a decade ago at TED conference titled: “Why We Do The Things We Do.” Attendants of the event included politicians, billionaires, and world leaders. It’s by far, one of my favorite motivational speeches about life ever.
What makes it even more amazing is that a normal Tony Robbins event takes place over 72 hours but all he had was 20 minutes to deliver this epic speech. It is now the #6 most viewed Ted talk of all time!
Here are the 6 humans needs:
- Love and Connection
Tony Robbins: 6 Human Needs Speech
As Tony Robbins said, “Every single person in this world has these same six needs, but each of us values these needs in different ways, and each of us have varied beliefs about what it means to satisfy those needs. And this is what becomes the driving force behind everything we do, and determines the direction of our lives.”
Everyone finds a way to meet these six needs in a positive, negative, or neutral way. No matter if you are building a business, traveling the world or living an ordinary life you still operate out of this set of needs.
There is always a way to fulfill a need; the skill lies in finding a sustainable way to fulfill it and in a way that produces more pleasure than pain. Ultimately, human beings want to avoid pain at all costs.
Once you understand the needs that shape your behavior, you will be able to take back control over your life. You will learn that it is possible to create new patterns and create lasting fulfillment in your life.
The Six Human Needs
Everyone has the need for certainty in some way or another. Human beings want to feel a need for comfort, stability, and protection. This is also one of the main beliefs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Without certainty, humans would be worried about survival instead of being able to focus on fulfillment. Some people value certainty more than others but every human needs this at least on a basic level.
Certainty is the need to feel in control and to know what’s coming next so we can feel secure. It’s the need for basic comfort, the need to avoid pain and stress, and also to create pleasure in life.
Certainty is a survival mechanism that is as old as the human brain. And it affects a huge part of your life. From the jobs you take, investments you make, and event relationships.
The higher the need for certainty, the less risk you’ll be willing to take or emotionally deal with.
2. Uncertainty or Variety
While humans want to be certain, we also want the feeling of uncertainty and variety as well. Wouldn’t life be boring if you never had variety, excitement, or surprises?
Some people will want more uncertainty or variety than others. These are usually risk takers, adventure junkies or individuals looking to mix up their lives.
Here’s a good way to think of uncertainty…Do you like surprises?
If you answered with “yes” I’m guessing you’re lying. You like surprises that are good, not ones that have bad outcomes. Those surprises are problems!
The third human need is the need for significance. People want to feel significant. They want to feel important, special, and unique.
This can come in many forms but most people want to feel appreciated at work, home, and in life. They want to feel important, respected, wanted, and unique.
How to Earn Significance
This is a need that you can acquire a lot of different ways. For example, to feel significant you could:
- Earn a bunch of money
- Collect a bunch of degrees
- Putting tatoos and piercings all over your body
4. Connection and Love
Connection and love is the fourth human need. It’s one that can drastically change how someone acts and behaves on a consistent basis. This is the need to feel togetherness, passion, unity, warmth, desire, and love in our lives.
As Tony Robbins said, “Love is the oxygen of life; it’s what we all want and need 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. You can get that sense of connection or love through intimacy, or friendship, or prayer, or walking in nature. If nothing else works, you can get a dog.”
Tony refers to the first four needs as personality needs. Humans find ways to meet these by working harder or creating stories to make sense of them. The final two needs are one of the spirit that aren’t achieve by many people.
As Tony Robbins says, “Progress equals happiness.”
Many people just want to grow. We need to feel like we are developing, strengthening, learning, expanding, and cultivating ourselves.
There is nothing worse than feeling stuck or hitting a plateau. Whether it’s in your relationship, fitness routine, or career people want to grow. As Tony said, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
And he’s 100% right. It doesn’t matter how many friends you have, how much money you have or anything else, ultimate fulfillment comes from growth.
The last human need is the need to contribute. Like Tony said, “The secret to living is giving.”
Humans need to feel like we are giving, donating, leaving our mark, serving, offering, and contributing to others. Humans need this more than most care to admit. I love this quote from Tony about it:
Life is really about creating meaning. And meaning does not come from what you get, it comes from what you give. Ultimately it’s not what you get that will make you happy long term, but rather who you become and what you contribute will.”
Why We Do What We Do
If you have ever asked yourself why we do what we do every decision comes down to one of these needs.
All human beings are constantly seeking to meet the six human needs but everyone values two more than the rest. For example, your life will be very different if you are searching for certainty vs. uncertainty.
Identify Your Top 2 Needs
There are tons of different ways to find your top two human needs. Start by using these 6 human needs test to figure out what is important in your life.
Tony Robbins 6 Human Needs Test
When I did the six human needs test at the Unleash the Power Within seminar my needs were certainty and significance. But after a year of changing my life entirely, my two needs are now growth and contribution. I strive to always be reading, learning, and growing so I can eventually have more to contribute.
I encourage everyone to take the six human needs test so you can understand where you are currently. The results are very comprehensive and will provide you with a breakdown of your entire belief system. It will show you what to avoid, what to strive toward, and how to use them positively in your life.
Understanding the Six Human Needs
There are 6 basic human needs that drive all human behavior. They affect all 7 billion people in the world but it’s which of the six you value most that define you.
Six Human Needs Summary:
- Love and Connection
Remember, two of the six are most important to you and will change over time depending on where you are in life and what you are trying to achieve. Start by taking the test or ask yourself the following questions:
- Which of the 6 human needs do I value most?
- What are the consequences of valuing those needs in that order?
- What do your top two needs need to be now for your life to transform?
- If you made that change, what would transform in your life?
If you want to learn more about the legendary life coach Anthony Robbins, be sure to check out his website for a list of full events and products.
What are your top two human needs? What is driving you in your life?
Let me know in the comments!