When you think about how we lead our lives, it’s important for us to understand what makes us and other people unique. I recently got a program from Tony Robbins called Creating Lasting Change. In it, he lays out several key ideas on why people do the things they do and how it impacts both their lives and the lives of the people around them. With all the daily challenges facing serving leaders, can they still get their needs met?
I always enjoy sharing Tony’s ideas because they typically take a very complex idea and make it simple. He also connects the dots to help you understand the impact of what you do on others. This program starts out with a simple idea. People have six basic needs and we work to have these needs met throughout our lives. We also create relationship strategies to meet our needs.
I thought it might be helpful to share his six human needs and then later this week, discuss how it applies to your relationships with others. This is a 10 day program and I’m on day 3. I have really enjoyed what I am learning about myself and the other important people in my life. When I get a new program like this, I go out and try the process on many different people to see how it works in the real world. The first couple of days have allowed me to understand my wife better and several clients who are typically willing to play along because the material changes the way we interact together. A warning here, don’t hang around an organizational psychologist and not expect to get involved in their research projects.
Here are the six human needs as defined in Tony Robbins’s program Creating Last Change. Tony shares his list of the six human needs. I share my thoughts on each so you can decide which two are most important to you today. Do you think your needs change over a lifetime? Later this week I talk about how to work with this information to help you build stronger connections to the people in your lives.
Here are the six human needs:
Certainty – Most people I know put a high premium on certainty. My best clients do almost everything they can to control their own destiny. In most cases, they are willing to assume a higher level of risk based on the potential reward they receive, but they want to feel in control. Learn how to help others to feel more in control and you’ll always have great people in your life. I find that if you tell people what to expect in advance and what the result might be. Certainty is more about how they feel than what might actually be happening.
Uncertainty/Variety – Many of my students feel this is the prime directive for their lives. They enjoy the different ideas and situations the encounter when they are younger. As they grow and mature, their tolerance for uncertainty increases as they begin adding key people and their career to their lives. I can remember many of my friends when I was younger looking for variety in their lives. In many cases, they still look for variety but in a different way. When people go through dramatic change in one part of their lives, they may experiences smaller changes in all aspects of their lives. Uncertainty at midlife can also make an individual feel alive again.
Significance – We all want to feel special and important. One of the biggest challenges in a social world is that we might be connected to thousands of people but lack a special relationship where we feel connected and special. Many people seek special acknowledgement for what we have accomplished in our lives, from children to careers. Many managers fail to understand the power of significance in helping to achieve our own growth and success. The cycle continues because we are less likely to show appreciation when we ourselves feel under appreciated.
Love/Connection – Who doesn’t want to have love in our lives? We look for this connection from significant others, friends, our children, and family furry members. People can live without many things, but remove them from their community and things begin to decline. If you want a connection, you must be willing to be a connector. This can lead to many opportunities for love and connection.
Growth – How much change can you handle? I find there is a direct correspondence to how much growth we have achieved. The more we get comfortable with growth, the more likely we will have other needs taken care of. A sure prescription for failure is an unfaltering resistance to growth in times of rapid change. Many older people are put in challenging positions in life because an unwillingness to continue growing. To be fair, many people believed education would provide a foundation for continued growth and certainty. In an era of global disruptions, the more we know, the more uncertain we become of our own role moving forward.
Contribution – Finally contribution. Yes, this is where even the most successful people struggle. What unique contribution can they make to our world? Many successful men and women struggle to continue making contributions to a world they don’t completely understand. Because many of these people have single element scorecards throughout their lives, they are not certain how to help when many of the things they consider important, society puts a lower value on.
Now why did I share this today? I think the more we understand human needs, the better equipped we are for making a contribution in our world. Between now and Thursday, pick your top two needs. Then consider how those needs are being met and what’s missing from your life. I’ll share several ideas on Thursday that will help you get your needs met, but also allow you to help others get their needs met as well. See you Thursday.