Have you ever had that moment where you did something and maybe it embarrassed you, you’re ashamed of it, it was stupid, wasn’t your finest moment, and maybe you regret it? Well, the truth is we all have and then I am sure internally you say, “Why did I do that?”
And while some of you don’t want to think about that, you care about other people and you have moments like, “Why didn’t they do that? Why did they do that to me? Why did they do that? Why did they hurt me or that other person? Why did they betray me? Why did they abuse me?”
But for this moment, because we cannot control other people and we can control ourselves, let’s focus on us and ask, “Why did I do that?” And that would seem like a very complex question to answer. In fact there are several layers to that. But I can actually answer that in a simple way because there are only six reasons why you did that… today I am going to share this teaching I love from Tony Robbins. It is a framework for my life to understand why I do the things I do. And yes, it also helps me understand why other people do the things they do.
So know that when you did the thing that you did or any of the things that you do, you were meeting one of the six human needs. And because of the contrast of each of these with another one, we group them together in pairs. And there are ones that we gravitate towards.
Certainty can be motivating you to do the things that you need to do because you need to grab hold of control. You know that moment when you fly off the handle and yell at your kid… because in that moment, you were getting certain they were going to listen to you. And why would you do that thing that embarrassed you? That might be a little different but still a certainty that you might appear to have the attention or be the life of the party in that moment. Certainty is that need for control, having predictable outcomes, security, and stability.
We all want certainty to some varying degree but we also want and need Variety. We all want that level of uncertainty; things that surprise you. We all have that need. You know when you watch a movie you have already watched and that fills the need for certainty, you know what’s going to happen. But you also want the variety of maybe there were things you didn’t understand, maybe you don’t remember everything… and you are watching it and you’re like, “I totally forgot about that, that made me laugh.” so you want certainty and you want variety.
If everything in your life was certain, it would be boring. If everything in your life was full of variety and uncertainty, then you would be unstable because you wouldn’t have anything to hang on to. So you’re going to find a way to meet both of these needs.
Significance/Love & Connection
Significance: we all want to feel valuable, loved, important. You want to feel needed. I want to feel needed. We all have a need for significance. You want to feel hopeful to other people. We all have a need to feel that, to feel the importance of our worth and our value. We are all going to find a way to meet the need of significance, but we don’t just want significance: we want Love and Connection.
From birth a baby cannot be healthy without the nature of a mother’s love. We are wired in our DNA for biological connection! These are your primary needs. These are needs of the personality. You will find a way to meet these needs; healthy and unhealthy ways.
Tony calls these the spiritual needs. These are also needs of the personality but next level. These are higher spiritual needs. The need for Contribution that you would want to make a difference in somebody else’s life.
I have a high need for contribution in my life. It is at the top of my life, That’s why I keep doing these blogs and videos. I am not making money blogging or making short videos for social media. I want to contribute to your life. I want you to be healthier and stronger and have the ability to TAKE BACK YOUR POWER.
Growth: we all know if you’re not growing… you’re dying. We were created for growth. If we stop growing mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, the moment we stop we start dying in any one of those areas. Inside and sometimes on the outside of the body as well.
You probably won’t be growing taller until the day you die but everyday your body is growing, cells are reproducing… and as soon as that stops, you start dying.
Why Do YOU Do the Things You Do?
You’re going to find a way to meet all these needs. So let’s break this down a little bit… First of all there are going to be needs that drive you, your actions, and your decisions more than other needs. So if you haven’t had enough certainty in your life… you may try to control and over control your relationships resulting in driving people away. Because of the need for control, security, certainty… you created another argument, you pushed someone away… how’s that working out for you? You don’t want to have certainty as the primary drive in your life.
You also don’t want to have significance as your first need to satisfy. The person who is driven by significance becomes way more than looking for acceptance, value and importance. It becomes a show: Look at Me, Look at Me! Why would we embarrass ourselves in front of that room full of people? Because we want to be the most important person in the room. Like I said, there are healthy and unhealthy ways of getting our needs filled.
The unhealthy way to fill significance is to be dominating; if someone is mean to you, generally they are going to get under your skin and you become focused on that person. And in that moment they are successful in having significance in your life.
You can meet the need for variety in healthy ways… taking the time to create artwork, interacting with people in healthy ways on social media. And the truth is you can flip that last one and make it unhealthy by interacting with people in mean-spirited, vindictive, and divisive ways.
There are healthy and unhealthy ways to meet that need for love and connection. We all want to be loved, but we often settle for connection. Everyone wants a loving relationship, but some people settle for the connection of pornography or a revolving door of sex with a different person every night. They want to be loved, but they settle for the connection that they can get. The relationship thing, every person on the planet (ALL OF YOU) have a need for variety. If you are married or in a committed relationship and you’re not getting the variety, what can happen? Why do you think people have affairs? Because they are not getting the needs met: variety, significance, love and connection. They want to have that relationship and they are not feeling valuable and therefore feel like they don’t have stability in that relationship. In the end they are going to find some love and connection somewhere else.
So you can see, the list of healthy and unhealthy ways of meeting our needs can go on and on. But I want to ask you, which one of these is at the top of your list right now? Which one of these drivers is driving you, motivating you? Like let that light bulb come on that tells you why you did that. Maybe you don’t like the way it turned out, but now you can see you were driven by the need to be significant… or one of the other needs.
You don’t have to be stuck in a place where your top two remain the top two, YOU CAN SHIFT the order of your needs and you can find healthier ways to meet your needs, while tapping into those higher spiritual needs. So if you are currently driven by significance and certainty and you’re jacking up your relationships and your unfulfilled in your purpose or career… you could shift all your interactions to be driven by the desire to contribute and grow, and I will tell you what will happen:
You’ll get happier!
You’ll have better and healthier relationships!
You’ll make more money because you are driven by a pure motive to contribute!
You’ll grow to become the best version of yourself!
You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want. Zig Ziglar
So what if you made contribution and growth higher now and love and connection. That’s a human need to put at the top of your list. And that is what is at the top of my list and let me tell you… it has changed my relationships and understanding of others, as well as myself.
My wife’s top need is love and connection, it is a massive drive for her. I had an epiphany years ago after I went to Tony Robbins Date with Destiny and I realized if I moved love and connection to the top of my lifest and then I had growth and contribution under that I could be more in alignment with my wife and that didn’t compromise my character. It just recognized that I’m in a covenant relationship with this woman I desired to be in alignment with.
We might go to a conference about spiritual or personal growth and when I talk to her about it, I’d say, “Hey honey, let’s go to a conference with someone else and have fun and hand out with our friends” or “Let’s go and enjoy extra time for us at the beach to be together and have fun.” I come from the angle of love and connection and I know I still am going to get contribution and growth.
Take some time this week to reflect on how these needs show up in your life. And where would you like to make adjustments?
I hope this video added value to you! I love you! You should go out there and give your greatness to the world because somebody needs what’s on the inside of you!