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

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

How Your Behavior Shapes Your World

Every day you make certain decisions and take concrete actions that come about as a result of how you think, feel, and the habits you indulge in. Most of the time you probably don’t give these decisions or actions a second thought. You perhaps don’t even question why you do what you do. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that.

We tend to filter out the detail of our lives to focus on what’s most important. However, there are certain advantages to knowing — to understanding what motivated you to take a specific action or make a crucial decision. And that is where the Six Human Needs come into the picture.

The Six Human Needs are not desires. They are psychological NEEDS that we consistently work on satisfying on both a conscious and unconscious level of awareness.

These Six Human Needs influence your deepest motivations and determine how you go about prioritizing your decisions and actions throughout your life. In fact, every single day you are unconsciously striving to meet these “needs” with varying levels of success.

When these needs are met at a high level, you experience incredible happiness, joy, and fulfillment. On the other hand, when these needs are not met at a satisfactory level, you tend to feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied. However, because most of this happens on an unconscious level of awareness, you probably don’t even realize why you’re feeling miserable.

On the surface, your life seems okay, however, below the surface you have this nagging feeling of dissatisfaction. Nothing you do seems to make you happy, and life just seems dull and dreary. Little do you realize that it all has to do with your Six Human Needs.

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

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

Before breaking down each of the Six Human Needs, it’s essential that we first explore the four classes of behavior and how they influence our lives.

What are the Four Classes of Behavior?

The habits you partake in, the actions you take, the emotions you experience, and the addictions you indulge in can all be classified into four distinct classes or kinds of behavior.

Understanding these four classes of behavior is critical as they will help you gather valuable 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 stems from the pain and pleasure principle. This principle states that you will make decisions based on the avoidance of pain or on the promise of pleasure.

The pain and pleasure principle has a push-pull effect. On the one hand, you are making decisions that push you away from the negative consequences that might cause you pain. On the other hand, you are making decisions that will pull you toward 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, right? You, therefore, don’t worry about it and instead make a decision to socialize, watch some movies, binge-watch television, etc. All of these things (behaviors and choices) are pleasurable experiences. More specifically, they are instant gratification traps.

At the same time, working on the project seems somewhat painful and challenging. You, therefore, make a decision to avoid the pain (of working on the project) 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 choose 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 reliable enough motivator. 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.

Given all this, you finally make a decision to begin working on your project.

This example shows how, frequently, we’re motivated to make a particular decision or to indulge in a specific behavior due to the “pull-effect” of short-term pleasure. However, at other times, we make decisions based on the “push-effect” of long-term pain.

All this is quite significant because your response 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 helpful that as you read through each of these classes of behavior, that you pinpoint what kind of habits and rituals you partake in that fall into each category.

Class 1 Behavior

Class 1 behavior is typically characterized by actions that concurrently lead to both short and long-term pleasure. 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 1 behavior type.

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, is good for you, is good for others (because you are helping add value to their life), and it serves the greater good of all concerned.

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

Class 2 Behavior

Class 2 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 with the intention of gaining long-term rewards is an example of a class 2 behavior. Also, exercise is another example of a class 2 behavior. When you exercise you experience short-term pain, however, the exercise seems worthwhile because you will inevitably encounter long-term pleasure resulting in weight-loss, a higher level of fitness, toner body, etc.

Class 2 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 serves the greater good of all concerned.

Class 3 Behavior

Class 3 behavior is typically characterized by short-term pleasure that often results in long-term pain. This is self-sabotaging behavior that:

  • Feels good.
  • Isn’t good for you.
  • Isn’t good for others.
  • Does not serve the greater good.

Overeating, binge drinking, excessive television, and procrastination all fall under this category of behavior. All these things feel good and pleasurable in the short-run, however, they all have painful long-term consequences that you will inevitably experience at some point 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 overeating in the present moment just won’t seem worthwhile. You were seduced by short-term pleasure, and now you must suffer the consequences of long-term pain.

Class 4 Behavior

Class 4 behavior is typically characterized by short and long-term pain. This is a self-sabotaging behavior that:

  • Doesn’t feel good.
  • Isn’t good for you.
  • Isn’t 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. Staying in a bad relationship or career are two decisions that also reflect 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 4 behavior means that you’re choosing to experience short-term pain in order to experience even more long-term pain in the future. Does that even 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 and health. In this example, you are choosing short-term pain to subsequently experience more pain in the future. This obviously doesn’t make any rational sense. However, it’s a typical class of behavior that we tend to indulge in more times than we care to admit.

The Four Classes of Behavior

So 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 key insights into your decision-making process. Instead of just making decisions unconsciously, you can now choose what to 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 1 and Class 2 behaviors. These behaviors will typically lead to long-term pleasure. On the other hand, it’s important to avoid the traps of a Class 3 behaviors. This kind of behavior feels good on the surface (short-term pleasure), however, the long-term consequences are rarely if ever pleasurable (long-term pain).

Likewise, it’s important to be aware of the consequences of a Class 4 behaviors. This is often characterized by unconscious emotional responses, habits, and behaviors that catch us off guard. You will recognize these experiences because they just don’t feel good and eventually lead to painful consequences.

So, how does all this integrate with the Six Human Needs?

The Six Human Needs are 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. Some of these behaviors will be categorized as Class 1 and 2 behaviors, and others will be characterized as Class 3 and 4 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 process is to help you transform your behavior in optimal ways to help you find more happiness and fulfillment in life. And this all begins with an understanding of your Six Human Needs.

Breaking Down the Six Human Needs

The Six Human Needs were initially introduced by Anthony Robbins. Mr. Robbins 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 must be met first 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 onto the need for love and belonging where we seek to connect with other people through friendship, family, and sexual intimacy.

Once these needs have been satisfied, we then seek out the need for esteem. This is all about boosting self-esteem, improving self-confidence, achieving our goals, while also gaining other people’s respect.

Finally, at the top of the pyramid is the need for self-actualization. Here we typically strive for self-improvement and creative self-expression. This is in essence all about personal growth and our contribution to the world.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was undoubtedly a profound discovery. However, Mr. Robbins felt 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 each day. As such, Mr. Robbins 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 now 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 continually 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 by the need to acquire short-term pleasure irrelevant of whether it will lead to long-term pain (Class 3 behavior). This is where your comfort zone lies, and this is, therefore, the place you feel most secure and safe.

When you strive to satisfy the need for certainty, you might eat or drink alcohol excessively. You might smoke or use recreational drugs. Likewise, you might procrastinate or attempt to control other people.

All these behaviors provide you with a sense of certainty and comfort in the present moment, but they could also potentially lead to pain in the long-run.

The same is true when you’re clinging to 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 4 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 necessary 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 the 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 broad sense of dissatisfaction. Life becomes too predictable and just plain dull. As a result, you now tend to seek out a little uncertainty to help add that extra spice to your life.

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, decide to take risks or to even gamble your life away.

You might purposefully want to confront your fears, to make some drastic life changes, to handle a crisis or deal with conflict. If you’re currently experiencing conflict, then it could very well be due to your need for uncertainty.

Your need for uncertainty could be so strong that you’re purposefully looking for high-stress crisis situations that create discomfort. This, of course, might seem silly on the surface. However, the alternative is a very predictable, safe, secure, and dreary existence.

In the short-term, chasing uncertainty might work well for you. Although in the long-run it’s important to realize that you’re indulging in Class 4 behavior that doesn’t feel good and may also result in long-term pain.

All behavior is, however, not created equal. You can, of course, satisfy your need for uncertainty in productive ways that are akin to Class 2 behavior.

For instance, you might satisfy your need for uncertainty by taking risks that move you toward a goal. 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. Moreover, making strides to push yourself outside your comfort zone will certainly pay dividends in the future.

As with anything that is good, an oversupply of a good thing is always riddled with consequences. And an oversupply of uncertainty can often lead to higher levels of stress, worry, overwhelm, frustration, and fear. This can very quickly get out of control. And as a result, you immediately 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 your needs.

The Need for Certainty and Uncertainty

The Need for Significance

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

You 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.

The need for significance 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 careers. In fact, it’s probably one of the most important influential factors that go into every decision they make.

On the other hand, 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 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 3 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 alongside other people. 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 from bouts of depression. They struggle with depression because they fail to meet their need for connection at a high enough level.

The Need for Connection

The need for connection means that you are continually 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 other people that help us move away from bouts of depression and loneliness. However, ironically, the deeper we connect with others, the more susceptible we are to falling prey to criticism and rejection. But there’s more…

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.

Now, consider how an oversupply of the need for connection can lead to a loss of identity. With this loss comes the need to feel important, unique, and worthy once again. And as such, your relationships with other people start to break apart.

The Need for Growth

The need for growth means that you are continually 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 a book, you might take a class, etc.

Growth is a crucial aspect of life. If you’re not growing, then you’re making no real progress in life. However, growth isn’t necessarily about learning a new skill or about reading a good book. It’s more about the time you put into self-reflection. Moreover, it’s about the mindful approach you take to understanding 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’s an important need nevertheless, because without growth there is a sense of lack — a sense of dissatisfaction.

Without growth, your life may even feel as though it’s stagnating. On the surface, you may be fulfilling the four primary needs. You’re comfortable, you experience some uncertainty, you feel significant, and you also satisfy your need for connection. However, you’re not growing and evolving on a psychological level. As a result, you feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled, and yet you don’t know why. You seem to have a 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 other people that go well beyond your own needs, desires, and wants. You are primarily 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 individuals, 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 more significant meaning and purpose.

So whether your acts of kindness help change one life or many lives, makes no difference. It’s all about the intention behind the work that matters.

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 fulfill 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 fulfillment that you are doing something greater than yourself.

Contribution is a Class 1 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 while at the same time rewarding you with long-term pleasure. It’s the best of both worlds, and it’s something we should all be striving for.

The Need for Connection and Significance

How to Balance and Prioritize Your Six Human Needs

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 them. 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 kind 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 each day depends entirely on how you prioritize each of these Six Human Needs.

If you prioritize the need for uncertainty over the need for certainty, then you will be naturally inclined to take more risks, to seek out new experiences, and to switch jobs more often than the average person.

If on the other hand, you prioritize the need for certainty over the 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. In such instances, you’re happy to keep things predictable. You will only take occasional risks when you feel a little bored. Now, ask yourself:

Are the current choices and decisions I’m making aligned with how I would like to live my life?

For example, if the need for uncertainty, variety, and adventure is of highest priority, then sticking to your mundane job and postponing your trip around the world is probably making you feel sick to 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 following your highest priority needs.

In another example, imagine you meet a fantastic person that you would potentially like to spend the rest of your life with. However, this person’s highest need is the need for certainty. 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 the need for connection must supersede all other needs. Otherwise, this relationship will probably fizzle out in the long-run.

In the end, a fulfilling, prosperous, and happy life comes down to reaching a healthy balance between each of your six human needs.

You need a little certainly to provide you with some stability, and you also need a little uncertainty to provide you with a spice of adventure and variety. At the same time, you need to feel significant and important to strengthen your personal identity. However, you also need that connection with other people.

Growth is likewise essential and so is contribution. In fact, all the Six Human Needs are important. They might not be equally important all of the time, however, they are important when it comes to reaching a balance 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.

Let’s say, for instance, that you spend a significant amount of your time indulging in Class 3 and 4 behaviors. You do, however, have a few conflicting needs, which are causing some problems. Whatever these problems may be, let’s see if we can work through them using a set of carefully phrased questions.

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 with an objective to help motivate you to take specific kinds of actions.

You might, for instance, associate a great deal of long-term pain to the consequences of indulging in a specific kind of behavior. At the same time, associate both short and long-term pleasure to a behavior that you would like to condition into a habit.

Other methods you could use to transform your behavior come in the form of 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 indulge in. Therefore, by altering your thoughts and language patterns will encourage you to make a different set of choices. And as a result of these choices, you will begin changing your behavior.

Your beliefs, your core values, and your physiology also influence the choices you make and the behaviors you indulge in. Therefore, by changing your core values and beliefs about yourself, about others, and about the circumstances of your life, will help transform how you respond and behave in each situation. 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 each day are an extension of your thoughts and self-talk. However, questions are very specific and are directed at finding solutions to problems. And yet, most of the time we ask feeble questions that often aggravate our problems.

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

Transforming Your Behavior Using the Six Human Needs

Set Some Clear Concrete Goals for Your Life

Before jumping into the questioning process, it’s vital 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 want to experience by achieving 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 primarily be of a Class 1 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 each day 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, pursuing stretch goals is a requirement for long-term happiness and fulfillment. For more about goal setting, please see how to set smart goals.

The Behavior Transformation Questioning Process

As you begin this questioning process, have a think about each of the Six Human Needs. Specifically, have a think about how you will transform your current behavior to meet each of these needs at the highest possible level. 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 six human needs?

What class of behavior do each of my behaviors fall into?

Reflecting on each of the behaviors, have a think about how you could potentially transform and adjust them in a way that ensures they fall into a Class 1 or 2 behavior category. Continue asking yourself:

How could I transform this behavior in a way that ensures 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 3 or 4 behavior to a Class 1 or 2 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 possible level?

Is this behavior a Class 1 or 2 behavior? If not, then think of another behavior…

It will not always be possible to find a Class 1 or 2 behavior that meets all Six Human Needs at a high level. And 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 enough level, then go with it. Over time you can adjust this behavior to eventually meet all your needs.

Concluding Thoughts

When it comes to working with your Six Human Needs, it’s important to understand that this isn’t a quick “one-and-done” process. It’s rather a lifetime commitment.

As your life changes, you need to commit yourself to consistently making adjustments to your behavior. These behaviors must satisfy your Six Human Needs at the highest possible of levels. Moreover, they must fall under the Class 1 or 2 behavior category.

Class 1 behaviors are certainly not easy to achieve. 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 will result in more happiness and fulfillment. And that, in essence, is the key to success, and the key to living an optimal life.

There’s literally so much that could be discussed here. In fact, an entire book could be written about this subject. This short discussion certainly doesn’t do this topic 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 optimal ways.

Time to Assimilate these Concepts

Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I’m confident you will gain tremendous value from using the accompanying IQ Matrix for coaching or self-coaching purposes. This mind map provides you with a quick visual overview of the article you just read. The branches, interlinking ideas, and images model how the brain thinks and processes information. It’s kind of like implanting a thought into your brain – an upgrade of sorts that optimizes how you think about these concepts and ideas. 🙂

Recommended IQ Matrix Bundles

If you’re intrigued by the idea of using mind maps for self-improvement then I would like to invite you to become an IQ Matrix Member.

If you’re new to mind mapping or just want to check things out, then register for the Free 12 Month Membership Program. There you will gain access to over 90 mind maps, visual tools, and resources valued at over $500. 

If, on the other hand, you want access to an ever-growing library of 100s of visual tools and resources, then check out our Premium Membership Packages. These packages provide you with the ultimate visual reference library for all your personal development needs.

Gain More Knowledge…

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

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