Think of your dreams; your goals; your vision. What is it exactly that you want in your life? You may already have a picture of what you desire, but I can guarantee you, there is a deeper want behind it that is common among every person on this planet.
Behind every desire there is a feeling or set of feelings that you crave, and behind each feeling is a need. Lately, I’ve been reading Tony Robbin’s new book Money: Master The Game. It’s really good, I highly recommend it! A good part into the first chapter, he talks about the 6 basic needs of every human being. It really hit home for me when he related it to the topic of money – it’s not money that we really want – it’s what it will do for us; it’s what it will make us feel.
Dig deeper into your dreams, goals and vision and think about which of the following needs you really want most.
Below are the 6 basic needs of every person. The first four have primarily to do with our personality or ego and the last two are more spiritual needs and have to do primarily with the soul.
Humans want to know what to expect and be in control. If we aren’t certain in a situation, it causes us stress. How much we value certainty is directly proportional to how much risk you are willing to take in your life. The more certainty we need, the less risk we will be willing to take. Risk means uncertainty, and with unknown situations, comes growth. It’s a choice only you can make – to be safe, secure and certain – or embrace uncertainty and be open to new possibilities.
Uncertainty & Surprise
Why do we need uncertainty if one of our basic needs is the opposite of this one? Isn’t it contradictory? Not exactly. Think about how your life would be if you could always predict everything that’s going to happen – who you’re going to meet, what you’re going to experience, where you’re going to go… At first it would be exciting, but after a while it would get really boring and predictable. We enjoy surprises – an unexpected gift, a cheque in the mail, or an old friend who just called you after years of not being in contact. What we don’t enjoy are the unpleasant surprises that we call “problems”, but in fact they are surprises just as much as the pleasurable ones. Seeing them as “challenges” instead, is much more empowering. Having a good balance of both certainty and uncertainty is a wise choice for life. We need both.
Deep down, everyone wants to be acknowledged and feel special. This basic need is seen profusely in today’s culture. “Exclusive” clubs and limited editions of items are a few examples. It makes people stand out about the rest. The need for significance can sometimes turn into unhealthy forms. Criminals have a very thwarted way of expressing this need by getting involved in crime. They get “noticed” in the newspaper by millions of people for the thing they did. Money can also create significance – for example, being the richest man or woman in your city or country. Medals, credentials, name titles… all of these at some level serve this innate desire of the ego – “look at me, I’m special”. It’s human to have this need, however, we can even go another level deeper and see that maybe this need to feel significant is actually a desire to feel loved and one with others.
Love & Connection
Love is what holds this world together and is the fabric of the universe. This is our true nature and it’s what we deeply need, even though we may have layers and layers of other desires on top that covers it up. Feeling connected to others and creating deep, lasting relationships with other people is what brings much happiness in our life. We want to feel loved – by our friends, family, and ourselves. Money might not be able to buy love, but it can help to create the ideal environment for love and connection to blossom.
Have you ever felt like you’re not moving forward in life? I can completely relate. When we aren’t challenged enough, we don’t have the opportunity to learn and grow. If you’re at a job that doesn’t expect more of you than you already are, then you’re stagnant and gradually moving backwards. The truth is you can’t be at a standstill – you’re either growing or dying. When you grow and learn new things, you can help others and create value for them. This gives meaning to life and gives you happiness, joy and deep fulfillment. It’s the natural progression of the universe – to evolve and grow – and we’re intricately part of that.
Giving to others is a beautiful thing, because you make a lasting, positive change in someone’s life and in return receive the gift of joy. We are meant to serve others and the best way you can do that is to offer the skills, talents and knowledge that you are the best at and are most passionate about. Look how popular social media has become. Why? Because we are wired to share with others. How lonely it would be if we didn’t share. Think about a time when you created something. What did you do? You shared it with your family, friends or even the world. It’s contribution that really adds some of the most meaning to our lives and allows us to make a huge positive difference in our lives.
Now that you understand the 6 basic needs of every person, think again about what you really want. You may realize that what you thought you wanted is not what you really wanted in the end. It can be a real relief to re-evaluate and let go of some goals that promise lots but don’t directly fulfill your needs. You can also use this new knowledge of the 6 basic needs in your marketing efforts to create persuasive and powerful copy and sales messages.