The 6 Human Needs: 6 Reasons Why You Do What You Do… Or Why Anyone Does Anything


The 6 Human NeedsHave you ever wondered why we do what we do?  

What is controlling our behaviour in any given moment?

The answer, according to what I've learned from Tony Robbins, is that there are only 6 reasons why anyone does anything.

These reasons are The 6 Human Needs.

This video blog explains what I've learned from Tony Robbins about the 6 Human Needs, what they are, and how you can use them to take your life to the next level.

Watch the video below:

(Click here to watch on YouTube)


No matter who you are or what you do, there is a common force that is driving and shaping all of our emotions and actions.  These human needs are what determine the quality of our lives and the direction we're heading in.

While our beliefs and values amongst human beings are different, the primal NEEDS that we have are universal.  We are all driven, by after day, to fulfill these primal needs that have been encoded in our nervous system for centuries.

What Are The 6 Human Needs?

six human needs tony robbins1. Certainty

We all have a need for certainty, comfort, stability and security.

2. Uncertainty/Variety

We all have a need for uncertainty, variety, excitement, and surprise.

3. Significance

We all have a need to feel significant, special, unique, or important in some way.

4. Connection & Love

We all have a need for connection and love.

5. Growth

We all need to grow and evolve in some way.

6. Contribution

We all need to contribute in some way so our lives have meaning.

The first four needs are the “needs of the personality” – you will meet these needs whether you know it or not.

The last two, “growth” and “contribution” are the spiritual needs – these are what bring us lasting fulfillment.

EVERYTHING we do is to meet one or more of these needs.

If you're a binge eater, then you do it to meet your needs.

When you eat a cheesecake, you immediately meet your need for certainty – you relax and feel comfortable.  You also meet your need for variety, as you get a different state change and it can get you out of stress.  You also can feel a sense of significance, that you're giving yourself a gift.  And, you can feel like you're connecting with yourself through binge eating.

If you link 3 or more needs to any thought, feeling or behaviour – it becomes an addiction.

In the same way, you can meet your needs by working out at the gym everyday.

When you workout at the gym, you can meet your need for certainty as you feel like you're in control and more confident.  You can meet the need for variety, by doing different exercises and activities that are different.  You can meet your need for significance, by lifting more weight or feeling important for working out.  You can also connect with yourself, grow and even feel a sense of contribution if you are doing it to serve others.

The bottom line is, there are empowering ways to meet your needs and disempowering ways.

When you can identify all the ways that you're meeting your needs through your behaviours, then you can start to change them.  You can literally begin to find new, empowering ways to meet your needs that serve you more.

With this understanding, I've been able to overcome binge eating and other destructive habits in my life by identifying WHY I was doing them, and then finding better ways of meeting my needs with activities that empower me.

Your Top 2 Needs Are Your Driving Force

While we all have the same needs, we value them differently.

We all prioritize these needs differently from one another, giving us a different order of what we value most.

For 80% of people in North America, their top 2 needs are Certainty and Significance.

Whatever needs we value as the top 2 are controlling our lives more than anything.

Unfortunately for most, having certainty and significance as your top 2 needs is the worst thing that you can have.

When you have certainty as one of your top needs, it forces you to always have to have control over your world.  Therefor, you will have to live in a very small world that you can always have control over, which prevents you from growth and variety.

We need growth, as it's a need that makes us fulfilled – if we aren't growing, we're dying!  We also need variety, as it's where all passion and excitement in life is found.

If certainty is one of your top 2 needs, then you likely live in your comfort zone in life.  You play things safe, don't take risks and use things like food, TV, the internet, etc… as a source of comfort.

Significance is also one of the worst top 2 needs someone can have.  With significance, you always need MORE – it is never enough.

Even if you make millions of dollars, you'll always need more to feel more significant, so you're never fully satisfied.  You're also always comparing yourself to others.  When others are doing better than you, you often feel insignificant.  As a result, you never get to be happy sustainably.

When you value certainty or significance above LOVE, then you don't feel love or express it until you first feel totally certain and significant.  When you feel uncertain and insignificant, then the love will disappear in your life.  This is another downside of valuing certainty and significance above love.

After attending Unleash The Power Within and Date With Destiny multiple times, I've really been focused on changing my needs over the years.

I've lived most of my life valuing these needs in this order:

1. Significance

2. Growth

3. Certainty

4. Connection & Love

5. Uncertainty/Variety

6. Contribution

The need for significance was a huge driving for me to become successful and change myself.  The need for growth was massive, as over the last 10 years, I've made some incredible changes that forced me to experience a lot of uncertainty.

I've since shifted my needs to be more focused on the following:

1. Connection & Love

2. Contribution

3. Growth

4. Uncertainty & Variety

5. Significance

6. Certainty

The value of these needs is a much different world.

Most of my goals, motivation and focus lately has been more on connecting with and serving others.

In the past, most of my goals were focused on MYSELF (significance driven), whereas now they are more focused on reaching a certain number of people through my blog, videos, products and services.  It's to positively impact others and make a difference.

I live my life less focused on achievement, but more focused on fulfillment.  I connect with people more, give love, experience more love, and focus on contributing to everyone that I meet.  It's less about me, but more about others.

This has really transformed my relationships and quality of life.

I STILL have the need for significance, as we all do, but it's just not my driving force as much anymore.  I still have big goals and dreams that I want to achieve that are focused on me, and I have no doubts that I will achieve them all.  But I do it first and foremost with the intent of helping others.

I believe that the more people you contribute to, the more significant you will become. People will MAKE you significant if you really love and contribute.

While these 6 human needs can be a challenge to fully grasp and understand, it's been one of the most powerful concepts that I've learned from Tony Robbins at his events.  It's taken me personally years to fully “get it” and continuously attending the seminars and improving myself to make these shifts.

I'll likely continue to attend Unleash The Power Within and all Tony Robbins events, as I always continuously learn, expand and develop myself by going.  If you ever get a chance to go, then this can really take your entire life to the next level!

I hope you enjoyed this one.  Post any comments or questions below, I'll do my best to respond!

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The 6 Human Needs: 6 Reasons Why You Do What You Do… Or Why Anyone Does Anything
5 (100%) 2 votes
  • Kate

    So happy to hear that. Mother Theresa used to say, “You, in the West, have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness. They feel unloved and unwanted. These people are not hungry in the physical sense, but they are in another way. They know they need something more than money, yet they don’t know what it is.” Keeping up with the Joneses is over rated. If you have food, shelter, clothing, love, laughter, Jesus, than I’d say you’re doing over and above pretty dang good in life.

  • So if I got it right; We use these 6 needs to see for ourself how we can effectively replace destructive patterns. We do this by filling the needs we want with new, empowering patterns! Great approach!

    Ofcourse we need to change our beliefs accordingly too, otherwise the change won’t last.

    IMO this concept is a bit complicated but I might get more used to it the more I learn about it. The basic needs I use at the moment are simply; identity, growth and contribution.

    > Identity = Significance
    > Growth = growing in all 7 areas of life (including love & connection in emotional area), energy-area = uncertainty/excitement, certainty (eat, sleep & shelter) are linked to financial-goals
    > Contribution

    What I’ve noticed is that many people teach the same principles in a different approach. It adds to confusion but eventually you’ll make up your own mind by seeing what works for you.

    For example; Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is basically the same as Anthony Robbins and the identity, growth, contribution needs. All the same principles, different approach.

    Thanks for sharing Stefan!

    Take care man!

  • auchomage

    Thank you Stefan for taking the time to write/type the post up. This was a bit complicated for me, and reading through this slowly, helped me to understand it more, and see how I can apply it to my own situation.
    Also thank you for releasing the mp3 downloads. Brian Tracy has something like that, and I really do enjoy listening to his advice/thoughts for success.

  • Xamze Rarujeed

    thank you ..it was interesting and helpful video