6 Basic Human Needs

Discover your top 2

Every human has needs, but there are six that are the foundational to why you do what you do at your core.

Every move and every decision you make can be driven by these needs and it’s fun to watch how you’ve anchored your choices against them in the past and how you continue to do so.

In 2017, I attended Tony Robbins Date with Destiny. A six day emersion program where you peel back the layers of your current life and then design your life on purpose. 

This is where I first learnt about this concept and boy was it eye opening for me and when I share it with people, it intrigues them too, so it’s time for blog post, so they can read it any time they want.

Let’s dive in.

The six basic human needs are:

  • Certainty
  • Uncertainty
  • Significance
  • Love & Connection
  • Growth
  • Contribution

Let me explain what they mean.

Certainty – that your house won’t burn down or that you have a contract for your rental property for a set rate or that you have a job and you know exactly what your income will be each fortnight.

Uncertainty – your partner who surprises you with flowers, an impromptu trip to the coast, a last minute dinner with the girls.

Significance – when you hand in that brief that you’ve been working on all week your boss says thank you, when you get asked to play in a sporting team, that you get a trophy when you win that netball championship, your wife saying thank you for doing the washing, mopping the floors, cleaning the pool, picking up the dog poo in the backyard.

Love & Connection – the love of your partner/ husband/ wife, the love of a child, the love of your parents and siblings, love and connection with close friends and love from your puppy or cat etc.

Growth – learning something new like studying with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition or taking up yoga or meditation, reading something that inspires you, sharing what you learn with others (because you grow more through this)

Contribution – giving back to your community, being part of fundraising events, being on the board for your local fun run/ Ronald McDonald House/ Starlight Foundation etc. Sharing what you know.

Now it’s time for you to reflect.

I want you to think about all six basic human needs and rate them from 1 to 6, what’s your most important Human Need – give it a 1, what’s your least important Human Need – give it a 6. Then share with me in the comments what your top 2 are.

Here’s the secret sauce, so keep reading.

The majority of people, about 80%, will focus on Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance and Love & Connection – are you in this group? I was.

My top two were Certainty and Significance.

The issue with these four is they won’t fulfil you. There’ll never be enough and you’ll always be looking for them:

  • No one can ever die (certainty)
  • I need to earn a certain amount of money, otherwise, what will people think of me (significance)
  • When’s our next surprise trip away (uncertainty)
  • My husband tells me how much he loves me, and loves to hold my hand (love & connection)

What do you look for in your life, and continue to look for. Bringing that pay cheque in each fortnight might lead to certainty in the moment but having to turn up to work every day may not fulfil you. 

On the other hand, when we anchor into Growth and Contribution, where about 20% of the population live, you’ll find your happy place. You come from a place of service and yes, you might be the ‘outlier’ but you’re the one people go to when they want to feel better. You’re the one they turn to and ask ‘why are you always happy, what’s your secret?’

Now you know what you know, I’d love you to share with me in the comments below, what do you think you’re going to focus on going forward and what’s one thing you can do today to move towards that xo


Here is a Tony Robbins blog post about this topic: Do you need to feel significant?

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