An In-Depth Exploration of the Six Human Needs Shaping Your Life

Author Unknown

Sometimes in the short-term we must forsake our needs in order to obtain our dreams.


How Your Behavior Shapes Your World

Every day you make certain decisions and take specific actions that come about as a result of how you think, feel and the habits you tend to indulge in. Most of the time you probably don’t give these decisions or actions a second thought. You probably don’t even contemplate why you did what you did. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. We naturally tend to filter out these details in order to focus on the most important things in our lives. However, there are certain advantages to knowing — to understanding what in particular motivated you to take that action or make that decision. And this is where the Six Human Needs come into the picture.

The Six Human Needs are not desires or wants. They are psychological “needs” that we constantly work to satisfy on a mostly unconscious level of awareness. These Six Human Needs are the factors that influence your deepest motivations and effectively determine how you go about prioritizing your decisions and actions throughout your life. In fact, every single day of your life you are unconsciously striving to meet these “needs” with varied success.

When these needs are met at a high level, you experience a great deal of happiness and fulfillment in your life. On the other hand, when these needs are not met at a high level, you will tend to feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied. However, because all this happens on an unconscious level of awareness, you probably don’t even realize why you’re feeling this way. Your life seems okay on the surface, however something is just not right. Nothing you do seems to make you happy, and life in general just seems as though it’s missing important elements that you can’t seem to identify.

So what are these Six Human Needs? Well, let’s take a very quick look at them right now before exploring them details later on:

  • Certainty: Here you are striving to experience comfort and gain certainty in your life in order to minimize the stress of uncertainty.
  • Uncertainty: Here you are striving for a little variety and uncertainty in your life in order to relieve boredom, predictability and stagnation.
  • Significance: Here you are striving to gain a sense of significance and importance in the eyes of others. Your objective is to create a sense of identity.
  • Connection: Here you are striving to make deep connections with people. You have a need to love and be loved by others. You also have a need to belong.
  • Growth: Here you are striving to learn, experience and grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually in a variety of ways throughout your life.
  • Contribution: Here you are striving to contribute to something greater than yourself. This is all about adding value to other people’s lives.

Before delving into the details of each of these Six Human Needs, it’s important that we first explore the four classes of behavior that we all tend to indulge in.


Understanding The Four Classes of Behavior

The habits you partake in, the actions you take, the emotions you experience, and the addictions you indulge in on a daily basis can all be classified into four distinct classes (kinds) of behavior.

Understanding these classes of behavior is important because they will help you gather important insights into your motivations and your psychological tendencies. No longer will you be at the mercy of your choices and decisions. Instead, you will fully understand and come to appreciate the short and long-term consequences that are tied to your daily actions.

It’s important to note that every decision you make and behavior you indulge in directly comes about as a result of the Pain and Pleasure principle. This theory states that you will make decisions that will either help you avoid pain, or allow you to experience pleasure. This has a push-pull effect. On the one hand you are making decisions that will push you away from the negative consequences that might cause you pain. On the other hand, you are making decisions that will pull you towards outcomes that will help you experience pleasure. This might seem straightforward on the surface, however it does get a little more complicated.

Say for instance you have a big project due for completion in four weeks. Four weeks seems like a long enough time to complete this project. You therefore don’t worry about it and instead make a decision to socialize, go to the movies, watch some television, etc. All of these things (behaviors and choices) are pleasurable. At the same time, working on the project seems somewhat painful and burdensome. You therefore made a decision to avoid the pain in order to experience the short-term pleasure of the moment.

Over the next three weeks you continue to avoid the pain of completing the project and instead continue to indulge in pleasurable activities. However, the closer you get to the deadline, the more on-edge you begin to feel. It appears as though the pain of not getting the project done is now growing more significant and intense. All of a sudden, the pleasure you experienced socializing, watching movies, etc, is no longer a strong enough motivating factor. Now, it’s the pain of not completing the project on time that weighs heavily on your mind. You are therefore no longer motivated by short-term pleasure but rather by the long-term pain you will experience if you do not get this project completed. And so you finally make a decision to begin working on the project.

This example shows how oftentimes we’re motivated to make a certain decision or to indulge in a specific kind of behavior because of the “pull-effect” of short-term pleasure. However, other times we make decisions based on the “push-effect” of long-term pain. All this is very significant, because your responses (decisions) to short and long-term pain and pleasure will determine the outcomes you will inevitably experience throughout your life.

To understand this principle in further detail, we’ll need to take a look at each of the four classes of behavior. However, before we begin, it’s important that as you read through each of these classes of behavior, that you pinpoint what kinds of habits and behaviors you partake in that fall into each of these four categories.

Class One Behavior

Class One behavior is typically characterized by actions that lead to both short and long-term pleasure concurrently. These behaviors:

  • Feel good.
  • Are good for you.
  • Are good for others.
  • Serve the greater good.

Self-sacrifice and the act of giving love to another person both fall into a Class One type of behavior.

There is no pain associated with this kind of behavior. Instead, you are rewarded with short and long-term pleasure as a result of your actions. The behavior therefore feels good, it is good for you, it’s good for others because you are helping add value to their life, and it serves the greater good of all concerned.

This is essentially where we would typically want to spend most of our time, however, unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. We are not living within a Utopian society. As such we will need to also work through the remaining three classes of behavior.

Class Two Behavior

Class Two behavior is typically characterized by short-term pain leading to long-term pleasure. These behaviors:

  • Don’t feel good.
  • Are good for you.
  • Are good for others.
  • Serve the greater good.

Working hard on a project in order to gain long-term rewards is an example of a Class Two behavior. Also exercise is another example of a Class Two behavior. When you exercise you experience short-term pain, however the exercise seems worthwhile because you will inevitably experience long-term pleasure resulting in weight-loss.

Class Two behavior doesn’t feel good in the short-term. In fact, you will experience a lot of pain. However, the pain is always worthwhile because it serves the greater good and helps you gain long-term pleasure. It’s therefore good for you (at least in the long-run). It’s also good for others because it doesn’t hurt them directly, and it also serves the greater good of all concerned.

Class Three Behavior

Class Three behavior is typically characterized by short-term pleasure that often results in long-term pain. This is a self-sabotaging behavior that:

  • Feels good.
  • Is not good for you.
  • Is not good for others.
  • Does not serve the greater good.

Overeating, binge drinking, excessive television watching, and procrastination all fall into this category of behavior. These things all feel good and pleasurable in the short-term while you’re indulging in them, however they have painful long-term consequences that you are likely to experience in the future.

When you’re overeating you are seeking to gain short-term pleasure. However, overeating can make you feel sick, can lead to weight gain, and possibly result in future health concerns. This behavior might feel good, however, it’s certainly not good for you, not good for others, and does not serve the greater good. In the future you will experience so much pain, that it just won’t seem worthwhile overeating in the first place. You were seduced by short-term pleasure, and now you must suffer the consequences of long-term pain.

Class Four Behavior

Class Four behavior is typically characterized by short and long-term pain. This is a self-sabotaging behavior that:

  • Does not feel good.
  • Is not good for you.
  • Is not good for others.
  • Does not serve the greater good.

The emotions of stress, worry and anger are all typical examples that fall into this category. Also staying in a bad relationship or career are two decisions that also fall into this class of behavior. All of these examples do not feel good, they are not good for you, they are not good for others, and they certainly don’t serve the greater good of all concerned.

Indulging in a Class Four behavior means that you are choosing to experience short-term pain in order to experience even more long-term pain in the future. Does this make any sense?

For example, when you’re angry, you are hurting yourself by losing your temper. Not only does this put you on-edge emotionally, but it can also damage your relationships with other people and also hurt your health in the long-term. You are therefore choosing short-term pain in order to experience more pain in the future. This obviously doesn’t make any rational sense, however it’s a typical behavior that we tend to indulge in more times than we care to admit.

The Four Classes of Behavior


What Does All This Mean?

So what does all this mean moving forward?

In isolation, without taking the Six Human Needs into consideration, these four classes of behavior provide you with insights into your typical decision-making process. Instead of just making decisions unconsciously, you can now choose what you will do or focus on based on the consequences of the Pain and Pleasure principle.

The right thing to do is to always make decisions that lead to Class One and Class Two behaviors. These behaviors will typically lead to long-term pleasure. On the other hand, it’s important to avoid the traps of a Class Three behavior. This kind of behavior feels good on the surface (short-term pleasure), however, the long-term consequences are never pleasurable (long-term pain). Likewise, it’s important to be aware of the consequences of a Class Four behavior. This is often characterized by unconscious emotional responses or behaviors that we just get caught up in. You will recognize these experiences because they just don’t feel good and will eventually lead to painful consequences.

So, how does all this relate to the Six Human Needs?

The Six Human Needs are fundamentally built upon your motivations. These motivations influence the decisions you make and therefore lead to certain and specific behaviors that you tend to indulge in on a daily basis. Some of these behaviors will be categorized as Class One and Two behaviors, and others will be characterized as Class Three and Four behaviors. Therefore some of them will be good for you, while others will only tend to cause you pain.

In the end, the whole purpose of this entire process is to help you transform your behavior in positive ways so that you can find more happiness and fulfillment in your life. And this all begins with an understanding of your Six Human Needs.


Here are the Six Human Needs

The Six Human Needs were originally introduced by Anthony Robbins. Tony had always been fascinated with human motivation and behavior. As a result he studied Neural Linguistic Programming, Cognitive Therapy, Gestalt Therapy and many other therapies of the time. However, even after all his research and the effort he put into this work, he was still missing a piece of the puzzle. That piece of the puzzle came in the form of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs certainly filled a void by exploring:

  • Physiological Needs
  • Safety Needs
  • Love and Belonging Needs
  • Esteem Needs
  • Self-Actualization

Maslow’s pyramid of needs shows how our needs typically change as we move up the hierarchy. For instance, we first have our physiological needs on the bottom of the hierarchy. These are needs for breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, excretion, etc. These needs need to first be met before we can move up the pyramid and satisfy the remaining needs.

Once our physiological needs are satisfied we can move onto safety needs. These are needs for security of the self, of the family, of property, of health, employment, etc. Once these needs are fulfilled, we then move on to the need for love and belonging where we seek to connect with other people through friendship, family and sexual intimacy. Once this need has been satisfactorily fulfilled, we then seek out the need for esteem. This is all about boosting self-esteem, confidence, achievement, and also gaining the respect of others.

Finally, at the top of the pyramid is the need for self-actualization. Here we typically strive for self-improvement in the form of creativity and making ourselves and the world a better place. This is in essence all about personal growth and our contribution to the world.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was certainly a profound discovery, however Tony saw that it was missing something. It didn’t quite help explain why we do what we do. It failed to unlock our decision-making process that leads to the behaviors we tend to indulge in on a daily basis. As such, Tony took some elements from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and pieced them together with a few of his own discoveries, and came up with the formula for the Six Human Needs.

Let’s delve into the underlying motivating forces of our decisions and actions by taking a closer look at the Six Human Needs:

The Need for Certainty

The need for certainty means that you are constantly striving to feel safe and secure. You value predictability and a sense of comfort. This gives you peace-of-mind and helps ward off stress, anxiety and worry.

This need for certainty is often characterized with the need to acquire short-term pleasure irrelevant of whether or not it will lead to long-term pain (class three behavior). This is where your comfort zone lies, and this is therefore the place you feel most secure and safe. As such you might eat or drink alcohol excessively. You might smoke or use recreational drugs. Likewise you might procrastinate or try and control other people. All of these behaviors provide you with a sense of certainty and comfort in the present moment, but could potentially lead to pain in the long-run.

The same is true when you’re clinging onto a bad relationship or a lousy career. You hold onto these things because it gives you a sense of certainty. However, this is a Class Four behavior. It doesn’t feel good, it’s not good for you, it’s not good for others, and it certainly doesn’t serve the greater good. So why do you hold onto these things? You hold onto them because they make you feel safe, secure and comfortable.

The need for certainty of course doesn’t have to end with negative consequences. Sometimes certainty is important because it provides you with emotional stability and financial security. Who really wants to deal with problems when you can instead feel certain that tomorrow will be just like today. Isn’t this why we watch movies for a second time? Watching a movie again and again helps you gain a sense of certainty. You know what’s coming, and so you feel comfortable in the fact that there will be no surprises. Life is certain, predictable and safe. What could ever be wrong with that?

The problem with an oversupply of certainty is that it often leads to boredom and eventually a deep sense of dissatisfaction. Life becomes too predictable and just plain boring. As such, you now tend to seek out a little uncertainty to help add that extra spice of life to your daily undertakings.

The Need for Uncertainty

The need for uncertainty means that you are constantly striving for variety and change. Certainty is fantastic, however variety just makes life a lot more interesting, unpredictable, challenging and fun.

In your search for uncertainty you might choose to play competitive sports, choose to take risks, or even to gamble your life away. You might purposefully want to confront your fears, to make some drastic life changes, or even to handle a crisis or deal with conflict. This is all very significant, because if you are now currently experiencing conflict in your life, then it could very well be because of your need for uncertainty.

Your need for uncertainty could be so strong that you are purposefully looking for high stress crisis situations that make you feel uncomfortable. This of course might seem silly on the surface, however the alternative is a very predictable, safe, secure and boring existence. You might think you want that kind of life, however internally you desire change and a challenge that will help spice up your life. In the short-term this might work well for you. Although in the long-term you must realize that you are indulging in Class Four behavior that doesn’t feel good and often leads to even more pain in the future.

All behavior is however not equal. You can of course satisfy your need for uncertainty in productive ways that are akin to Class Two behavior. For instance, you might take a lot of risks in order to achieve a goal you are working towards. These risks don’t feel good, however they are good for you, good for others and serve the greater good. In the long-run the short-term pain will most likely lead to long-term pleasure, and making the strides to push yourself outside your comfort zone will certainly pay dividends in the future.

As with everything that is good, too much oversupply of a good thing always has consequences. And too much supply of uncertainty can often lead to higher levels of stress, worry, overwhelm, frustration and fear. This soon becomes too much and too overbearing to handle. And as such, you turn to certainty for comfort, predictability and security. And so the cycle goes on, as you jump from one need to the next in succession. How quickly, or how far you jump will of course depend on how you prioritize each of these needs moving forward.

Six Human Needs: Certainty

The Need for Significance

The need for significance means that you are constantly striving to feel important, special, unique and worthy. You have all these goals you would like to achieve, so many incredible skills you want to develop, and a worthy status you would like to attain. All this provides you with significance and a sense of accomplishment.

You naturally gain significance when in comparison to others you reach a stage where you feel more important and worthy. You can feel more significant by achieving something, by building something, by learning something, or even by tearing other people down. They are all legitimate ways to fulfill the need for significance that people partake in on a daily basis.

If you look on the positive side of this need, you will find that it can help you achieve more, do more, and become the person you desire to be. All professional athletes would probably admit that the need for significance is a big part of their life. In fact, it is probably one of the most important influential factors that goes into every decision that they make. On the other hand though, the need for significance can be used for evil purposes. For instance, it can be used to hurt people or gain an unfair advantage. Take for example a bully. A bully bullies other people in order to feel important, significant and worthy. Therefore the need for significance can actually lead to violence. And the sad thing is that this is a Class Three behavior. It feels good and leads to short-term pleasure, however it’s certainly not good for you, not good for others and doesn’t serve the greater good.

When everything is said and done, we must all come to accept the fact that we live in a world with other people. And society is built upon relationships, connection, mutual respect and love. This is important because too much significance can potentially lead to separation anxiety and loneliness. This is evident in the celebrity world where well known celebrities suffer through bouts of depression and loneliness. They experience these emotions because they fail to meet their need for connection at a high level.

The Need for Connection

The need for connection means that you are constantly striving to connect and build strong social bonds and relationships with other people. This is the main reason why we get married, why we attend church gatherings, why we spend time in nature, why we gather at clubs, and why some people choose to join gangs. It’s all because of a need to feel connected to other people in some way.

No longer do we want to feel significant. Instead, it’s the connections with others that will help us move away from bouts of depression and loneliness. However, ironically the potential rejection and criticism that we might receive from other people can certainly put us back onto that same unfortunate path.

When you put love and connection above all other human needs, you might often do it at the expense of adventure and variety. Say for instance you find your soul mate, you get married, and because you value connection above all else, you no longer take risks, you no longer play sports, and you no longer pursue adventure. All of a sudden your priority levels have shifted and you no longer seek uncertainty. Instead you might now value connection and maybe even certainty above all else.

Of course, as with the need for significance, an oversupply of the need for connection can lead to a loss of identify. With this loss comes the need to feel important, unique and worthy once again. And as such, your relationships with other people might fall apart as you go your separate ways.

 

The Need for Growth

The need for growth means that you are constantly striving to learn new skills, to gather knowledge, and to grow as a person. You have this picture of yourself in the future — of how you desire to be. And your need for growth is pushing you to reach for that ideal self.

When the need for growth is at it’s highest, you are continuously striving to grow emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially and intellectually. As a result you might learn a new skill, you might choose to read books, you might take a class, you might apply at University, etc.

Growth is a very important aspect of life. If you are not growing, then you are making no real progress in life. However, growth isn’t necessarily about learning a new skill or about reading a book. It’s more about the time you put into self-reflection and also about how mindful you are of the consequences of your daily decisions, choices and actions.

The need for growth isn’t a primary need. What this means is that it’s not a need that all people across all walks of life strive to fulfill. However, it is an important need nevertheless, because without growth there is a sense of something lacking — a sense of dissatisfaction. Without growth your life might feel as though it’s stagnating. Everything might be comfortable, you might experience some uncertainty, you might feel significant and also satisfy your need for connection, however you’re not growing and evolving on a psychological level. As such, you feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled, and you don’t understand why. You seem to have the perfect life, but there’s just something missing.

The same is true of the final human need. You might have all the other human needs satisfied at the highest level, however life will always be missing that extra little something that this need gives you.

The Need for Contribution

The need for contribution means that you are living out your life’s purpose and providing value to others that goes beyond your own needs, desires and wants. You are essentially living for a higher purpose — for something greater than yourself that can potentially last a lifetime and beyond.

The need for contribution stems from our need to share ourselves, to help other people, and to add value to their lives. It’s all about making a difference to individual lives, to the community, to society, and to the world in general. This of course doesn’t mean that all of us will significantly change the world. However, what it does mean is that we work on something that gives life greater meaning. So whether this helps change one life or many lives, makes no difference. It’s all about the intention behind the work that makes all the difference in the end.

To satisfy the need for contribution you might volunteer your time to a cause, to a charity, or to a community project. Alternatively you might satisfy this need by helping someone solve a problem or maybe by teaching a class at a local community center. It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as what you do provides you with a sense of satisfaction that you are doing something greater than yourself.

Contribution is a Class One behavior. It feels good, it’s good for you, it’s good for others, and it certainly serves the greater good of all concerned. This type of behavior provides you with short-term pleasure and rewards you with long-term pleasure. It’s the best of both worlds, and it’s something we should all be striving for with our time left on earth.

An Exploration of the 6 Human Needs


Balancing and Prioritizing Your Human Needs

In order to make the Six Human Needs work for you, you must first identify whether or not your current actions, choices and decisions are aligned with how you would like to prioritize your needs. Ask yourself:

Based on my current life circumstances, how should I prioritize my needs?

Do I value certainty over uncertainty? Why? Why not?

Do I value significance over connection? Why? Why not?

Do I value connection over certainty? Why? Why not?

Do I value certainty over significance? Why? Why not?

What kinds of choices and decisions am I currently making?

How do these choices and decisions reflect how I subconsciously prioritize my needs?

Are my current choices and decisions in conflict with how I would like to prioritize my needs? What specific problems might be evident?

Am I experiencing enough growth in my life? If not, then how could I focus on satisfying this need to a higher degree in the future?

Is there enough room in my life to explore the need for contribution? How?

How you live your life and what you choose to do on a daily basis depends entirely on how you prioritize each of these Six Human Needs. For instance, if you prioritize the need for uncertainty higher than your need for certainty, then you are naturally inclined to take more risks, to seek out new experiences, and to switch jobs often throughout your life. If on the other hand you prioritize the need for certainty higher than your need for uncertainty, then you will most likely have a more stable career, and you will tend not to step too far out of the norm of your normal existence. In such instance you’re happy to keep things predictable, while only taking occasional risks when you feel a little bored.

Now you must ask yourself whether or not the current choices and decisions you are making are aligned with how you would like to live your life. For instance if the need for uncertainty, variety and adventure is of highest priority, then sticking to your current job for the past 20 years and postponing your worldwide adventure is probably making you feel sick in the stomach. In this instance, your needs are in conflict with your actions. You will never be satisfied, happy and/or fulfilled living this way. You must therefore re-prioritize your choices and decisions in accordance with your highest priority needs.

In another example, you meet this amazing person that you would potentially like to spend the rest of your life with. However, this person’s highest need is the need for certainly. However, your highest priority need is the need for uncertainty. As you can tell there will most likely be some conflict here unless the two of you can reach some kind of compromise. If you don’t, then at the very least both your “needs” for connection must supersede all other needs, otherwise this relationship will probably not work out in the long-run.

In the end, a fulfilling, successful and happy life is all about reaching the proper balance between each of your human needs. You need a little certainly to provide you with some stability, and you also need a little uncertainty to provide you with that spice of adventure and variety. At the same time you need to feel significant and important to help support your personal identity. However, you also need that connection with other people. Growth is likewise important and so is contribution. In fact, all the Six Human Needs are important. They might not be equally important all of the time, however it is important to reach a balance and find a middle ground that feels good, is good for you, is good for others, and also serves the greater good.


Using the Six Human Needs to Transform Your Behavior

Let’s now come full circle and look at ways you can use all this information to help transform your behavior.

You might for instance spend a lot of your time indulging in Class Three or Four behaviors. You might also for instance have conflicting needs, which are causing you a few problems. Whatever it is, let’s see if we can work through these areas by undertaking a behavior shifting questioning process.

However, before we get into these questions, let’s take a quick look at other ways you can transform your behavior:

Behavior Transformation Strategies

There are plenty of ways you can transform your behavior. For instance you can do some pain and pleasure work. This basically means purposefully manipulating how you view pain and pleasure in order to help motivate yourself to take certain and specific kinds of actions. You might for instance associate a lot of long-term pain to the consequences of indulging within a specific type of behavior, while at the same time associating both short and long-term pleasure to a behavior that you would like to convert into a habit.

Other methods you could use to help transform unwanted behavior come in the form of adjusting your language and thought patterns. This works well because how you think and talk about things affects the decisions you inevitably make. And the decisions you make influence the behavior you end up partaking in. Therefore by altering your thoughts and language patterns will encourage you to make different choices, and as a result of these choices you will begin transforming your behavior.

Your beliefs, values, and your physiology also influences the choices you make and the behaviors you indulge in. Therefore by shifting your values, or by changing what you believe about yourself, what you believe about others, or what you believe about the circumstances you find yourself in, will help transform how you respond and behave. Moreover, making simple adjustments to your physiology can also instantly transform how you think and the behaviors you tend to indulge in.

Finally, asking better questions can also help transform your behavior. The questions you ask yourself on a daily basis are in a ways an extension of your thoughts and self-talk. However, questions are very specific and are directed at finding a solution to a problem. And yet, most of the time we ask very poor questions that can often lead to bigger problems.

Instead of asking questions that get you nowhere, begin asking questions that help you find solutions to the problematic behaviors you are attempting to work through. And this is exactly what we are going to do shortly as we work through the behavior transformation questioning process.

Changing the Six Human Needs

Set a Goal for Life

Before jumping into the questioning process, it’s important that you first gain clarity about the goals you would like to work towards.

Now, this isn’t a traditional goal setting exercise. It’s not about setting specific goals about what you would like to acquire, the money you would like to earn, the people you would like to help, etc. This is more about the feelings you would like to experience as a result of achieving all those other more tangible goals on your list.

When it comes to your human needs, it’s important that you set goals that are built upon the foundations of motivation, fulfillment, happiness and balance. In fact, all the behaviors that you partake in should essentially be of a Class One type of behavior that feels good, is good for you, is good for others, and serves the greater good. In addition to this, all the behaviors you indulge in on a daily basis should satisfy the Six Human Needs at the highest possible level.

Now this isn’t going to be easy. In fact, this goal is probably going to be next-to-impossible to achieve. However, this is in essence what is required to live a happy, successful and fulfilling life. This is in a ways the magic potion you’ve been searching for that will provide you with the answers to a life that you probably never imagined was possible. And who would have thought that it would all come down to your Six Human Needs?

Behavior Transformation Questioning Process

As you begin this questioning process, have a think about each of the Six Human Needs. Have a think about specifically how you will go about transforming your current behavior in order to meet each of these needs at the highest of levels. Ask yourself:

How do I currently go about achieving (specific human need) in my life right now?

Identify how you go about achieving the need for certainty, uncertainty, significance, connection, growth and contribution. Also have a think about how certain behaviors could be in conflict with other behaviors. Then ask yourself:

What makes me take these actions or partake in these specific behaviors?

How does partaking in these behaviors make me feel?

Is partaking in these behaviors empowering me or hurting me?

What benefits am I deriving from each of these behaviors?

From a scale of 1 to 10, at what level do each of these behaviors satisfy each of my human needs?

What Class of Behavior do each of my behaviors fall into?

Reflecting on each of the behaviors you partake in, have a think about how you could potentially transform and adjust them in way that ensures they fall into a Class One or Two behavior category. Continue asking yourself:

How could I transform this behavior in a way to ensure that it meets my Six Human Needs at the highest possible level?

How could I transform this behavior in a way that will move it from a Class Four or Three behavior and into a Class One or Two behavior?

If I can’t transform this behavior, then do I really want to continue indulging in it?

What’s an alternate behavior I could potentially adopt that will satisfy all the Six Human Needs at the highest level?

Is this behavior a Class One or Two behavior? If no, then think of another behavior…

If we are to look at this process realistically, then it will not always be possible to find a behavior that meets all the Six Human Needs at a high level while also being a Class One or Two behavior. That’s perfectly okay. If the behavior doesn’t satisfy all the Six Human Needs, but it satisfies most of the needs at a high level, then go with it. Over time you might be able to adjust this behavior to meet all your needs at a high level.

It’s important to remind yourself that this isn’t a quick “one-and-done” process. This questioning process is a lifetime commitment. You have to commit yourself to continuously make adjustments to your behavior over time so that you satisfy your Six Human Needs to the highest of levels, while ensuring all behaviors fall into a Class One or at the very minimum a Class Two behavior.

Class One behaviors are certainly not easy to achieve. You will need to essentially detach yourself emotionally from your desired outcomes in order to avoid experiencing the short-term pain that will eventually allow you to enjoy the long-term pleasure. This isn’t easy, if next-to-impossible. However, through trial and error you will make progress and as you make progress your life will improve because you’ll be making better decisions, which will lead to more helpful and productive behaviors that likewise will lead to more happiness and fulfillment. And that in essence is the key to success, and the key to life.

There’s literally so much that could be discussed here. In fact an entire book could be written about this subject. This short article certainly doesn’t give the topic of the Six Human Needs justice. However, I hope that it has provided you with some insights that you can work with to help balance and re-prioritize your life in more helpful and positive ways.


Time to Assimilate these Concepts

Buy Map Using Map Free Maps

Did you gain value from this article? Would you like to keep these concepts at the forefront of your mind? If so, then you might like to download the accompanying mind map reference poster to your iPad, tablet or computer. The map presents you with a quick overview of this article. It’s designed specifically to help improve your memory and recall of this information so that you can better integrate these concepts into your daily thoughts, habits and actions. Your purchase will also go a long way towards supporting the further development of these maps.


Here are three recommended IQ Matrix mind map bundles that explore your subconscious behaviors and how to reprogram your mind; how to make more effective life decisions, and how to eliminate self-sabotage patterns that might be holding you back in life.


If you enjoy using these mind maps, then why not become an IQ Matrix lifetime member where you will gain access to an ever growing library of hundreds of self-growth mind maps that can help you excel in every area of life. Find out more by clicking on the banner below.

IQ Matrix Lifetime Membership


Gain More Knowledge…

Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:


Adam is a life coach, mind mapper, doodler and visual thinker. He founded IQ Matrix in 2009 and has created over 350 self-growth mind maps. He also has a Free 40 Day How to Doodle Course where he teaches how to doodle using simple daily lessons. Read more about Adam's story, and how he created the concept for IQ Matrix. Feel free to also get in touch and send Adam a message here.