Tony Robbins’ Six Basic Needs

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Tony Robbins’ seminar. It was an amazing experience that cannot be replicated in a smaller venue or format. Tony believes every conference that he gives should be outstanding…and it was!

Besides walking on fire (literally), my key takeaway from the conference was what Tony identified as the six basic needs of human beings and how they drive all our behaviors and daily activities. At the root of our actions, these basic needs are responsible for our decisions and are very similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

  1. Certainty is our need to feel in control and the need for security. The higher the need for certainty, the less risk we are willing to take or emotionally bear. Because of this need, we take jobs that we don’t want or never become an entrepreneur because we want to get a sure paycheck. The need for certainty ensures that we have a roof over the heads of our loved ones and that we can buy the things we need, when we need them.
  2. Uncertainty says all human beings do not want to know everything! We want some things to be a surprise (we like the surprises we want; the ones we don’t want, we call problems.) Entrepreneurs can thrive in a state of uncertainty, of not knowing where the next paycheck will come from.
  3. Significance is the need to feel special, unique or needed. Celebrities usually have a higher level of need for being significant than others and to know that they matter to a vast number of people. Social media and videos have brought significance to the everyday person with selfies and being able to post pictures and videos for the world to see. People brag because they want to show their significance, and conversely, how insignificant you are.
  4. Love and Connection is the quest to feel loved or to be loved by parents, spouses, children and even strangers; we will give them material things to represent the love we feel or want. Why do some workers stay late on the job when others go home? Usually, they have a need to be loved by the boss.   If we feel no one loves us, we will get a pet to give us unconditional love! Again, social media helps with this basic need by allowing us to reach out and feel connected to friends and family across oceans and to meet people we don’t know.
  5. Growth allows us to feel fulfilled. If a business or relationship is not growing, it is dying simply by staying stagnant. People satisfy this need in different ways such as going for higher level degrees beyond what is necessary or traveling a lot to make the world a place of higher learning.
  6. Contribution, giving back or sharing is in our DNA. We share news about both good and bad things; we volunteer our time to charity organizations or serve in the military. We donate our time or services to other business owners in need, and we give food to those in need.

How we live our lives is dependent on which need we make our primary one. Will you live your life carefully in the same job for 30 years or will you take some risks by exploring new industries or different types of business? Will you reach out to others or stay secluded? Interesting to note that the number one state people choose to live in is certainty; however, the number one need that people want is love.