Part of Tony Robbins famed morning routine includes jumping into a cold plunge pool, which stays at a temperature of 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The good news is, you don't need to freeze every morning to get a similar edge on life. By following "Tony Robbins 6 needs that are core to humans", you'll gain some insight on what's really missing.
In the following article, we will be breaking down these 6 core needs (certainty, uncertainty/variety, significance, connection/love, growth, and contribution) while offering some insight on how to satisfy each need.
You may find that working on these areas can cause discomfort, however, this is a common symptom that comes with growth. However, as Mr.Robbins says "Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change".
So let's begin.
About Tony Robbins 6 Needs
While his trending Netflix documentary title suggests he's "not your guru", to many Tony Robbins is just that. The celebrity motivational speaker comes from a rags-to-riches story and now has several books under his belt.
In addition to his publications, Tony Robbins has spoken in front of millions of people at his annual conferences. Robbins is also known as the coaching force behind names like Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.
In his public LinkedIn post, the inspirational coach highlighted the 6 core needs of humans. Each of these needs addresses a different area of our beliefs, wants, and relationships.
Human Need #1: Certainty
In one of Tony Robbins early books "Awaken the Giant Within", he discusses the concept of our belief system. When we state that we "believe" something, what we are really claiming is "I hold certainty of it". For example, you may be certain that you are smart or you may be certain that you always fail at your weight loss efforts.
What supports these certainty's is facts, or at least what we believe to be facts. For example, let's say your belief system tells you that you are smart. You have certainty that you are smart. Exterior feedback has given you this certainty. You may have gotten straight A's in school, which society dictates as a sign of intelligence. Or perhaps you hold a high IQ score.
The more "facts" support a belief system, the more certainty we hold on that belief. This belief then dictates our actions, our personality, and inevitably our life.
Humans also need certainty to be able to simply get through our daily needs, even if that certainty is an illusion. Think about it this way, this morning you likely woke up, got dressed and headed into the office to work. You had certainty that as of this morning, you still had a job. You had certainty that your building was still there standing, there was an element of predictability to your day.
You order food at a restaurant with certainty that no one will try to poison you. You have a need to feel secure, you take comfort in a level of routine and consistency.
Human Need #2: Uncertainty/Variety
On the flip side, we also have a deep need for uncertainty. Let's be clear, most people don't enjoy experiencing uncertainty when it comes to the basic necessities of life; food, clothing, shelter, and water.
However, when it comes to the other areas of our life, there's room for spontaneity. In fact, one study done by Duke University showed that people experience greater satisfaction with work and life when there's a level of unpredictability.
The key is to have variety without feeling overwhelmed. For example, you may have an increase in satisfaction if you feel you worked productively on a new project. However, if too many new projects are thrown into the mix, feelings of satisfaction can quickly become feelings of overwhelm.
So how do you inject enough spontaneity into your day to satisfy our human need for uncertainty? It may be easier than you think. In fact, you can experience the joys of variety by trying a new class, choosing to eat at a new restaurant, or even driving a different route to work.
The idea here is to tap into that childlike innocence that loves the idea of a great surprise. Even the surprises we don't want (like a flat tire or a break in) forces us to grow as individuals and adapt to what life throws at us.
It's best to choose to look at the ups and downs of life as pleasant surprises that create challenges, rather than choosing to be the victim.
Human Need #3: Significance
While you may not need to know the exact meaning of life, chances are you do want to live a life that holds some significance. What's important to remember is that we determine what makes something significant, important, or unique.
We can choose to lean towards what we are told is a significant life. This will typically include the image of a large home, fancy job, a great body, and some level of fame or status.
However, satisfaction is not found in meeting what society defines as significance. Instead, someone can experience a truly happy life by simply rising to what they consider to be significant.
While everyone's form of significance is unique, it's important to base our significance in areas that won't conflict our mental or emotional health.
For example, many people find their significance in being the one in the room with the biggest problems. They have learned to identify themselves within victim mode, to the point where it's almost a competition.
While this can offer temporary satisfaction, constantly stating these negative aspects of our life feed into our belief system (remember the certainty we discussed in Need #1). As a result, we expect less of ourselves and continue in a rat wheel of negativity.
When our coping mechanisms have taken a negative turn, it may be necessary to turn to professional psychological help. Remember, asking for help is often an essential first step to taking back your life.
Human Need #4: Connection/Love
Whether you can acknowledge it or not, the need for love is at the core of every decision we make throughout the day. Whether it's romantic love, familial love, or even the love for ourselves.
For example, when you woke up in the morning and chose the clothes you chose what you knew would be accepted by society. You didn't walk out naked. You made a choice that will allow you to be accepted among others.
You went to work to earn money, perhaps to provide for those you love as a sign of your love. Perhaps you are working towards a higher level of success in order to feel you are deserving of love.
There is a reason why one of the most intense forms of punishment given to prisoners in isolation. It's because even the most hardened criminals have a basic human need for interaction and connection. It's also the reason why many people tend to stay in relationships that aren't working for much longer than they should. It's because they would rather be miserable in a relationship than face being alone.
When we experience "being in love", our brain fires off oxytocin and dopamine that creates the same feeling as being high on cocaine. It would appear that even our bodies are consistently calling out for love and connection in it's most primal form.
Human Need #5: Growth
The self-help market is said to be worth nearly $10 billion dollars. Between books, podcasts, and seminars, it's evident that people have a clear desire to better themselves. The beauty (and often the catalyst) of this need is that it applies to every area of our life.
If our relationship is not growing or evolving, one side will eventually become tired and leave. We work at our jobs with an expectation of moving up the ladder, and growing in both our income and our responsibilities. We even mark the milestones of our children, month by month, to ensure they are growing at a "correct" pace.
What's amazing about the need for growth, is no matter what else you have in your life, you cannot experience full satisfaction without it. You can have countless friends, a great paying job, and hobbies for days, but if you are not experiencing growth in at least one area of your life, there will always be a "void".
What's unfortunate here, is that many of us have been programmed to believe (by parents, media, or both) that we are incapable of growth. We grow up hearing phrases like "you are lazy and you always will be", "you'll never complete that", "who do you think you are?". As a result, we internalize that belief and choose not to grow, because we simply think we are incapable of doing so.
This doesn't solve the feeling of not being satisfied in our life, however. So what do we do? We turn to temporary feelings of comfort and pleasure. We turn to drugs and alcohol to get high. We gorge ourselves on burgers and soda. We experience empty relationships with people who don't deserve us. When in fact the only thing we really need, is the space for growth.
Human Need #6: Contribution
Beyond meeting all of our own needs, our final need is to contribute to the needs of others. We've all heard the old adage "it is better to give than to receive", well, science has proven this to be true. The Women's Philanthropy Institute conducted a study that reported that this who give experience higher rates of life satisfaction.
Another study, conducted by Harvard University, found that spending money on others tended to have lasting, beneficial effects on our happiness levels. The research goes on and on, but the point is, our brain was not wired to be on "selfish mode" all the time.
The good news here? There's no bad news. This is one basic need that can easily be satisfied, on a daily basis, no matter your economic, social, or educational background. One simple act of kindness can create a higher rate of satisfaction in our lives, and trigger a ripple effect for that action to continue.
It's also important to consider how this need contributes to all needs before it. By giving to others you are building certainty and comfort over the idea that you are a good person, and that there is good in the world. You can experience the rush of variety, by doing an unexpected kind act. You also bring significance, and human connection by giving to others.
Finally, giving to others forces us to grow out of our poverty mindsets, to be able to give time and money to others. We have to be willing to allow the energy of money to flow freely. By giving to others we are making reinforcing the belief that there will always be more money coming in, so we are able to let go of what we have.
Creating a Life You Love
Tony Robbins 6 needs article is a great springboard to creating a life you truly love. By being clear about the obstacles you face, and your own false beliefs, you can make steps towards a well-rounded lifestyle.
However, it's important to remember that changing your life is not an overnight process. It can take years to make lasting changes, but the more you know and work on yourself the easier it will be to kick your limiting habits and beliefs.
You can begin by taking letting go of the past to create a solid foundation to build upon. We suggest checking out our blog for more important information on creating a healthy mind, body, and spirit.