What Are The 6 Basic Human Needs?

The six basic human needs in Human Needs Psychology are not very different from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but offer a more insightful and better-structured way of looking at human needs. Let me ask you something first:

Have you had one of those moments when you did something and after that, you said to yourself “I’m so stupid, why did I do this?”

I certainly have.

At other times you do something and it feels effortless and fulfilling but you don’t really know why you felt that way.

If you are reading this article, you have probably pondered the following questions at some point in your life too.

Why do some people, such as terrorists, find pleasure in killing and torturing others?

And why are others, like firemen, motivated to sacrifice their own lives to save the life of someone else?

This is just one mystery that we are going to uncover in this article.

But maybe you just want to find out something simple. Like why your spouse or children don’t do their share of the chores when it is their turn. Or something similarly common and annoying from your everyday life.

I’ve got good news for you: the answer is simpler than you might think.

Whether the person in question is you, your spouse, your children, firemen, terrorists, or anyone else, there are only six reasons why anybody does anything.

And surprisingly, these are also the 6 reasons why you or anyone says anything and even feels anything!

Finally, they even have an impact on what types of thoughts you will think, silently driving your decisions in every aspect of your life.

That’s quite a handful. I hope you are beginning to think now that it’s time to take these 6 forces seriously.

With the amount of influence they have on your life and on the lives of those who you care about, I encourage you to take this information in full. This could very well be the most important article you will read today.

So, do people do or say things because they are good or bad? Or because they have self-control or morals? Or because they decide to?

Is there really such a thing as good or bad?

Why do people develop self-control or morals in the first place?

And what shapes our decisions?

THE 6 CORE REASONS BEHIND OUR ACTIONS

These 6 primary reasons are universal human needs. Some people, like Brendon Burchard, call them drives.

In this article, I will be using the 6 human needs of Tony Robbins as a basic framework to explain what human needs are.

There are many popular systems of needs, buy Tony’s Human Needs Psychology teaches the one I’ve found to be the most insightful of all, during my decade long study and application of the human needs.

I absolutely love this subject. Mastering it has given me a lot of compassion, peace, clarity, and control in my life.

It’s so easy and convenient to judge other people, and even ourselves, for what they do.

But does it serve anyone? Does it resolve conflict, nurture compassion, and mutual understanding?

If this idea inspires you, the insights in this article will help you kick the habit of judging people and parts of yourself, as morally wrong.

With some practice, you’ll have the ability to understand with compassion what drives people and help them get what they truly need. The ability to be a better leader, spouse, friend, and parent. Looking at the underlying human needs instead of trying to decide who is right and wrong has the power to fill your life with compassion and become an agent of peace.

To create a strong foundation of compassion, I recommend you download my free ebook and do the 2 compassion exercises in it regularly. This will help you internalize what you’re going to read in this article much better and get rid of the habits of judging people and creating conflict.

I hope this excites you! I am certainly excited to share this with you.

So let’s begin!

The First Human Need: Certainty

We all need to be certain that we will survive, that we can avoid pain and gain some kind of pleasure or comfort, both immediately and on a consistent basis.

Having control over things and people is one way to meet this human need.

Developing and valuing self-control and morals that ensure we don’t accidentally do or say something that others could judge us for is also a way to meet this need.

A need to be able to trust others falls under this category too. We need to be certain that we can count on them.

If we don’t meet our needs, we are going to feel negative emotions.

Our emotions, triggered by human needs, are our guidance system, hardwired into us by evolution.

This is so that we can recognize what will help us with our survival and reproduction and what won’t. To easily decide what to move towards and what to move away from.

This is the most obvious with the need for certainty. This human need helps us avoid pain. Pain means damage and possibly death.

Pleasure can mean both survival and reproduction and that’s why we try to seek it. This is the reason why having sex feels so good.

But we humans have developed more sophisticated ways to gain certainty.

Gaining competence in an area is one such way.

This area of mastery has to lead to our increased survival or reproductive chances though, otherwise, it won’t fulfill this basic need.

I have discovered this evolutionary approach to human needs that I believe provides the best understanding of them. It also makes it easy to tell what makes an activity feel ‘meaningful’ to us.

Gaining competence in a skill that, say, helps a plant species survive on the planet that has no impact on human survival at all, will not feel deeply fulfilling. Certainly not as much as gaining a skill that will help our family thrive. Our family would do anything to ensure that we survive, the plant species won’t.

Unless you are a hermit and have learned to live off the land, you are part of society.

This means that you’ll receive your resources needed for your survival, including money, from other humans.

Our brains are still wired to live and thrive in a tribe of people.

These mean that you’ll experience the greatest fulfillment and strongest positive emotions by meeting your basic human needs through your relationships with other humans.

It’s good to understand what gives us the biggest evolutionary advantages. Then we can easily decide what to do that is the most fulfilling if we often feel confused.

Tribes used to consist of people who lived in a community and who helped each other survive, like a big family.

Today, metaphorically speaking, your tribe can be your family, friends, or the people you provide services to as a business owner, for example. Serving these people who can help sustain you will feel the most fulfilling to you.

Of course, if you live off the grid, secluded, and you sustain yourself from gardening, then your connection with your plants and animals will be the most fulfilling. This is because instead of other humans, they will help you survive.

Other examples of meeting this universal need are believing that we can handle any challenge, for men to be leaders and protectors, for women to wait for a genuine pair bond to form first with their partners before getting pregnant, and so on.

A more elegant but difficult way to meet our needs is to learn to listen to our hearts.

That’s an arduous and painful process for many of us who’ve been badly hurt in life.

To avoid that pain, most people stay in their heads and block out their feelings without ever knowing that this is what’s happening.

One way to disconnect from our hearts is through overeating. We meet our need for certainty by stuffing down our emotions with binge eating. Often we do this unconsciously to feel in control of what we allow ourselves to feel.

Fortunately, many roads lead to happiness.

I can’t give you a full list in this article of ways we meet our need for certainty. But I’ve created a PDF file for you with a lot of examples of how we meet our 6 human needs that will help you understand and appreciate yourself and others more, and make the world a better place in the process. You can request it here:

Download your “Interesting ways we meet our human needs” checklist here (Stay tuned – Resource coming soon!)

Your aim now could simply be to begin to see a pattern of how you could potentially meet your six human needs at the highest level.

I’ve mentioned in another article that meanings in our heads will only cause us to feel negative emotions if the meaning prevents us from meeting our basic human needs.

Human needs are influenced by both meanings and unconscious beliefs.

For example, if we become homeless and we give it the meaning that this is unsafe, and we’ll get stuck in the streets, our need for certainty won’t be met. We’ll then experience a range of negative emotions.

If, however, we give it the meaning that it’s an exciting challenge to recover from, and then come back stronger than ever, everything changes. We’ll feel anticipation, focus, and maybe playfulness too. We’ll feel certain that we’ll turn this into something great.

Limiting beliefs can prevent us from meeting our needs too.

With common limiting beliefs, such as “I’m not good enough”, “Mistakes and failure are bad” and “The world is not a safe place”, our need for certainty will consistently be very hard to meet.

Without limiting beliefs, however, it all becomes smooth sailing.

In this way, limiting beliefs can cause us to have negative feelings in 2 ways.

First, if they make us believe that something, that would help with our chances of survival and reproduction, is bad or uncertain.

Second, if they make us believe that something that decreases our chances to survive or reproduce, is good and certain.

For example, if we believe that becoming wealthy would make us immoral or evil like all rich people are, we’d be trapped by the first type of limiting belief.

Then we might believe that raising a huge statue in the town center that’s made out of toxic and radioactive material would make us be celebrated and considered a genius. In this case, the second type of belief would be causing us to require therapy.

Interestingly, we all have such limiting beliefs as this aspiring mad artist in the example. And we are all slightly mad when we believe that we need to have, do or be something to be happy.

Is it having a relationship, another car, a degree, a bigger house, fame, or our idea of “enlightenment” that will finally get us there?

Have they already made you happy? Or do you think they will?

The truth is, if you don’t have it right now, you’ll never have it.

These ideas, beliefs, and expectations in your head are what is preventing you from feeling safe, connected, free, and fulfilled right now.

Our emotional and energetic states will influence our needs too.

Our current emotional state will determine what human needs will become active in us and what thoughts we will be thinking.

In ecstatic, playful, and adventurous states we tend not to care about our need for certainty that much, for example.

Some more examples to help you meet the need for certainty are: to have money in the bank, to get married, to buy a house, to create rules, to reduce your suffering through meditation or prayer, to gain control over your life using the Law of Attraction, to set your boundaries and to stay true to who you think you are.

This article was originally written by Attila Beres and published on www.attilaberes.com. Copyright © Attila Beres. All rights reserved. Warning: if you’re seeing this text on any website other than the original one, the site owner has used my content without my permission.

This last one is our ultimate source of certainty: to remain consistent with our own identity and beliefs.

To know who we are is the ultimate anchor point for us in times of uncertainty, and losing our identity, our sense of self is the greatest fear we have, which leads us to the next basic human need.

This article was originally written by Attila Beres and published on www.attilaberes.com. Copyright © Attila Beres. All rights reserved. Warning: if you’re seeing this text on any website other than the original one, the site owner has used my content without my permission.

The Second Of The Human Needs: Uncertainty/Variety

“Are you kidding?” you must be saying now.

“You’re contradicting yourself!”

Not at all.

There’s no left without right. Balance is found between two extremes.

Now imagine that you create an extreme sense of certainty where the same thing keeps happening over and over and over again. And you know it’s never going to change. How would you feel?

Eventually, you’d feel so bored you’d want to die!

Our nervous system is designed in a way that we need stimulation, variety, a regular change in our state.

Even balance is a dynamic process, not a static state.

In truth, the more present you are, the more aliveness, the more variety you’ll become aware of in the present moment.

But variety is more than just the spice of life.

Children need a stimulating environment to develop into healthy and intelligent individuals. And that again is dictated by evolution.

The more children experiment with new objects and ways of manipulating them, the more they will be able to understand how the physical world behaves. In turn, they will be able to manipulate their environment better, thereby increasing their chances of survival.

By gaining competence this way, we also meet our need for certainty and usually for other human needs too. We’ll feel more certain that we can handle challenges with our improved skills.

Who said we could only meet one need by doing one thing?

In fact, most of the time we meet multiple human needs through one behavior.

Talking of which, the more human needs a behavior meets and the higher the level it meets them at, the more addictive and effortless the behavior will be, according to Tony Robbins.

We can meet our need for variety by trying new types of cuisines, going for a walk, reading a new book, talking to a stranger, traveling around the world, doing bungee jumping, robbing the bank, or having sex with a new partner without protection.

This article was originally written by Attila Beres and published on www.attilaberes.com. Copyright © Attila Beres. All rights reserved. Warning: if you’re seeing this text on any website other than the original one, the site owner has used my content without my permission.

Reading the last two examples you might have probably noticed that there can be negative ways of meeting our needs too.

We can meet our needs in positive, negative, and neutral ways.

A positive or empowering way of meeting this need could be by challenging ourselves to reach new heights of achievement.

A neutral one would be trying out a new dish or hair color.

And a negative example is to use drugs.

Variety and Certainty are often in conflict with each other. We can notice this within ourselves when our Inner Parent wants us to study for an exam, but our Inner Child wants to take a break and have some fun. We’ll soon explore the fascinating ways of how our human needs manifest in the inner parts of our psyche after learning about the 3rd and 4th human needs.

A moment of reflection:

What positive, negative, and neutral ways can you think of for meeting your need for the first basic need, certainty?

In what ways have you been meeting the first two human needs?

The Third Human Need: Significance

Have you met one of those men who were loud, at the center of attention, bragging about what they owned or did, while behaving outrageously in public? And everyone seemed to be completely attracted to them.

You might have felt irritated by his bragging or way of seeking attention. But maybe you were just genuinely interested or attracted.

The truth is that this person was trying to meet his need for significance. To be important, needed, valued, special, and maybe unique too.

He might have seemed confident, but there was a deep hunger for these things in him and he felt miserable deep inside without noticing it.

All he needed was some appreciation, some connection, a sense that he was worthy, good enough, and important.

If you were one of the many people judging him, know that there’s a better way to relate to him. A way that will make you and everyone else more fulfilled. I’ll discuss what it is when I’ll talk about the need for contribution later.

When this basic need is wanting to be met in us, these are the things we might need: appreciation, respect, recognition, to be given space (autonomy belongs here too), to be valued, needed, unique or special, important, and worthy of connection and love.

This article was originally written by Attila Beres and published on www.attilaberes.com. Copyright © Attila Beres. All rights reserved. Warning: if you’re seeing this text on any website other than the original one, the site owner has used my content without my permission.

The last two will arise from a sense of not being worthy or good enough. Those are unconscious limiting beliefs that most of us have formed in childhood inevitably.

If people complain or mention their achievements or how hard they have worked, they usually are trying to meet their need for significance.

Our desire for creative self-expression meets our need for uniqueness, play, creativity, and more, and can meet several of the 6 human needs. Some people consider it a separate need, but it seems to be the most closely related to the needs for variety and significance. 

Creatively using our unique talents, working for something bigger than ourselves while being challenged is an empowering way to meet our need for significance.

Dressing cool or unique is a neutral way of meeting this need. Serving and giving value to others is an empowering way as well as risking our lives to save others. Threatening someone with a gun is a negative way to ensure others will see us as significant.

Other examples are: to have tattoos, to disregard society’s norms, to become an expert or authority at something, to have big problems or be in a crisis all the time, to help others, to save lives while sacrificing ourselves, to try to always be humble, loving or non-violent, or to be angry, silent or threatening all the time.

CHALLENGE: If you have an idea of how trying to be humble or being silent and reserved could be ways to meet this need, share it in the comments below now, and then come back to the article!

And just to be clear, I’ll ask this question: who’s got the need to feel significant?

The answer is everyone!

We can meet this need in more or less obvious ways. What are yours?

From an evolutionary standpoint, this need is important, because if our tribe treats us as being important, needed, and valued, they will be more likely to support us and give us their love and resources.

The more we feel needed and appreciated somewhere, the more we’ll feel that we belong there.

You probably remember me mentioning that when we have this need, sometimes we want to feel worthy of connection or love.

So can you guess what the fourth human need is?

This article was originally written by Attila Beres and published on www.attilaberes.com. Copyright © Attila Beres. All rights reserved. Warning: if you’re seeing this text on any website other than the original one, the site owner has used my content without my permission.

The Fourth Human Need: Connection And/Or Love

These 6 needs are called human needs for a reason. They are not lizard, amphibian, or plant needs. Well, not in this combination anyway.

Love is a need that’s unique to humans and other mammals.

Unlike reptiles, we are helpless when we are born and need the constant love, care, and protection of our parents to survive.

Giving and receiving love is key to the survival of humankind.

But love is a double-edged sword. Love, or rather the withdrawal of it, is what makes us emotionally wounded in childhood. And sometimes later during a relationship break-up too.

When we make mistakes or don’t live up to our parents’ expectations, they withdraw their love from us while they are being annoyed or angry with us. The withdrawal of love means abandonment and possible death to a young child.

As a result, we form the beliefs that mistakes and failure are bad, and that we are not lovable and good enough.

We begin to protect ourselves from opening up to love to avoid the pain of feeling bad, rejected, and isolated again. The false idea that we are not worthy of these feels safer to the wounded inner child that we carry with us into adulthood.

As a result, most people settle for connection instead of love as adults.

The courageous ones who are willing to open up their hearts again and heal themselves are the ones who end up living the most fulfilling lives.

They will feel worthy and effortlessly connected again to others, even without talking to them.

There will be no more obsessively looking for company when they are alone, or fear of what others would think about them.

There will be no more awkward, uncomfortable silence during a conversation. Maybe for the other person, but not for them.

You can meet your need for connection by talking to someone, by going for a walk in nature, or you can feel connected to your source by meditating or praying.

Even when you are dwelling on your negative thoughts and feelings, or if you’re depressed, you’ll be connected to yourself. That form of self-pity is also a form of connection, although a negative one.

A positive way of meeting this need is giving a public speech and a neutral one is walking in nature.

Loving those who matter to us fulfills us the most. This is usually because they care about us too and we can count on them as well, though this is something we often don’t realize is causing our deeper feelings.

The feeling of love is an indicator to us that there is a deep level of care between beings who can sustain one another. Recognizing ourselves in everything as pure consciousness is the ultimate manifestation of love.

We can meet our need for love by making love, by sharing our emotions vulnerably while being heard and accepted, or by serving others without expecting anything in return, for example.

Research has shown that the quality of our lives and our level of happiness are greatly determined by the quality of our relationships.

Practice meeting your need for love with others and loving yourself deeply as well to have an extraordinarily fulfilling life.

Like the first 2 human needs were, the need for significance and love are polar opposites too. When we feel significant: unique, valued, special, or important, we aren’t in communion with others. Love, on the other hand, makes us drop our boundaries and merge with others, commune with others. 

Every human has to fit in as a part of something else. Our survival depends on our capacity to fit into our environment. But we also have to maintain our integrity, our own identity. Our autonomy, our agency. If we don’t, we either remain regressed, or our identity may dissolve catastrophically.

We need a dynamic, healthy balance between the two to stay mentally healthy. Otherwise, we are engaged in spiritual bypassing, or on the other end in narcissism or a neurotic Type A personality.

According to Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, a healthy average person has numerous subpersonalities in their minds while having the illusion of a unified mind that they alone are in charge of. This is widely accepted in psychology. We’re not talking only of the Freudian parts, or the Inner Child and Inner Parent or Critic, but of many subpersonalities that have their own beliefs and needs.  

The Pixar movie Inside Out depicts this in a fun and easy to understand way that all of us can relate to. Here’s an example of how this works:

Let’s assume that a part of us is holding the common limiting belief, “What makes me good enough, worthy and important is doing things perfectly.” Usually, an inner critic kind of part holds beliefs like this that needs to feel significant and feels pride when we do things perfectly. Notice the chain of command: core belief -> need – > feeling, manifesting as a part of us, a subpersonality. “What makes me good enough, worthy, and important is doing things perfectly.” -> Need: significance -> Feeling: pride. Here our sense of certainty and significance is strong, and we even feel worthy of connection or love, until we make a mistake…

Then another part of us takes charge. “What if I make a mistake?” – the fear creeps in. The other part of us is gone and we haven’t noticed a thing. Its core belief? “If I make a mistake, I’ll be rejected”. The unmet human need? Love, acceptance, belonging, but also certainty that we can avoid making a mistake. The feeling? Fear and doubt. The sense of certainty and significance are getting lower, and we don’t feel as worthy of love anymore…

But this part has to step down when it makes the dreaded mistake and hand it over to the Harsh Critic. The belief? “I hate myself when I make mistakes. It means I’m incompetent.” The need? Certainty that this will never happen again. The method and feeling? Self-hate. Self-judgment. Notice, how this is already a completely different inner personality than the first, prideful one was. The transitions flew under our radar, but the contrast is already large between them. The sense of significance is both low and high; our rejected part feels shameful, our Inner Critic feels powerful, justified, and certain: in control. However, our need for love is being completely unmet so it’s unsustainable: it’s burning its fuel, the shameful feelings and submission of the criticized part, quickly. “This was so stupid, can’t I/you do anything right?”

This self-directed hate is creating too much internal pressure, so we have to project it outwards to cope with it. Enter the Hater. Core belief: I hate it when others see me as incompetent. They are imperfect and wrong for criticizing me. Need: significance. We’re trying to regain our sense of significance, so we’ll attack and blame others to bring them down and elevate our sense of self-worth. Feeling: hate, righteousness, superiority. The human needs being met are the same as in the previous step, but we’re using the temporary submission and guilty feelings of others as a fuel for our significance and feeling in control. We use our anger as rocket fuel to soar above our rejected underlying feelings of unworthiness.

But we’ve already been seen as “incompetent”, making a mistake. With the anger, the rocket fuel running out, we begin to fall right into our underlying feelings of unworthiness, incompetence, and insignificance. “If others see me as incompetent, I’m not worthy of love.” Here we’re struggling to meet our need for love and feel depressed and powerless. Eventually, we’ll feel a painful sense of uncertainty when we become afraid of getting stuck in this powerless and insignificant state, and try to snap out of it by generating these feelings through anger aimed at ourselves, others, or the world.

Or, with the next opportunity to show that we’re worthy of all of these by doing things perfectly, the cycle of pride, fear, self-hate, anger, and depression can continue, playing on the need-buttons of our emotional violin like a mad musician trapped in a time-loop.

We don’t have to go in circles, we can transition between either of these if the opportunity arises, most commonly between feelings of powerlessness, insignificance and uncertainty, and the feelings of significance and certainty.

This works very similarly with other beliefs too; the anger-depression hamster wheel is a very common emotional roller coaster people are addicted to. So how do we get out of it?

We can eliminate our core beliefs with a scientifically proven method, like the Lefkoe Method that I use with my clients. This is the only permanently effective approach I’m aware of that’s been proven by independent, controlled studies. But there is another way too.

There is a spiritual part of us, our True Self that is free from all conditionings, that can observe these parts with compassion, and gradually heal them. Recognize that these parts in you are in pain, and they all need integration, not rejection and suppression. 

When we relate to them with curiosity, acceptance, and compassion, we can begin to understand their helpful purposes and create peace inside our “internal family”. 

When we try to argue with or reject the thoughts and feelings of the active parts, we’re not relating to them from the perspective of the True Self, but as another conflicting part. We need to practice mindfulness and compassion to be able to awaken this internal, spiritual, healing part within.

This is a similar process of mediating conflict between two parties, or to doing family therapy. But our True Self has the innate ability to heal ourselves without special training, we just need to get in touch with it and remain grounded in it. Compassion, wisdom, and our natural healing powers will naturally emerge with it.

The needs for certainty, variety, significance, and connection/love are what Tony Robbins calls the 4 psychological needs.

We must meet all these human needs in some way but they won’t make us truly fulfilled and happy.

What makes us vibrantly alive and happy are the 2 spiritual needs; growth and contribution.

This article was originally written by Attila Beres and published on www.attilaberes.com. Copyright © Attila Beres. All rights reserved. Warning: if you’re seeing this text on any website other than the original one, the site owner has used my content without my permission.

The Fifth Human Need: Growth

Everything in nature either grows or dies.

Growth is about learning new things, expanding, becoming more on any level, physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.

Paradoxically, not accumulating, but letting go of limiting beliefs leads to the largest and most fulfilling kind of growth that’s available to us. This releases captured energy and awareness that is released back to our true identity; pure consciousness that is blissful and infinite.

We, humans, have many options available when it comes to growth.

We can learn and become so many more things than, say, a dog could learn or become.

There is an intrinsic joy in the growth process. Making progress towards a meaningful goal feels tremendously rewarding.

If you want to remember one thing about this need, it should be this. If you can make constant, meaningful growth an integral part of your life, it will be completely transformed and filled with excitement.

And by meaningful, I still mean something that helps you not just to reproduce and survive, but also thrive.

For example, learning how to preserve a harmful plant specie that is on the brink of extinction and that can’t improve your chances of survival, the survival of your planet or life on the planet in any way; now that’s not meaningful.

But learning a skill that can positively impact your chances of survival or reproduction directly or indirectly, that’s what is going to feel meaningful to you.

We are the most excited about our learning, our growth if deep down we believe it’ll lead to a meaningful contribution.

Being yourself that includes growing your unique skills will ensure that you’ll be more needed and valued by people who can sustain you, because of the unique contribution that only you can make.

Being yourself has strong evolutionary benefits and as a result, you’ll be happier.

You’ll feel more happy feelings because your subconscious knows that being you makes you be more fit and able to survive.

We are rewarded for things like this to let us know that we are on the right track as far as life’s, or God’s agenda is concerned. Which is to reproduce (“Be fruitful and multiply”), survive, and get our needs met (be happy).

The point of me telling you this is not to get you thinking about what you should do to meet your needs and make yourself happy.

This only your heart, your intuition knows.

And I’m not talking about following your emotional impulses here.

It is more like a gentle nudge or a soft but powerful voice that is constantly suppressed by the constant louder thoughts in our minds.

It could be as easy as following your emotional guidance system, your intuitive feelings, and pulls.

Without our thoughts, meanings in our heads, our limiting beliefs, and expectations interfering with the natural ease of meeting our needs, being happy becomes effortless.

It’s not so simple though in practice for many of us.

It requires pure consciousness, a pure heart.

A heart that isn’t filled with emotions created by fearful, limiting thinking and expectations.

And that requires hard work.

Either way, it is going to take work and commitment to get your needs met consistently and experience lasting happiness.

But by knowing how to do it, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

And we haven’t even talked about the most important human need yet. It has the power to fulfill all 6 of your human needs at a very high level.

You want to make sure you master this one.

The Sixth Human Need: Contribution

Marshal B. Rosenberg, the creator of Nonviolent Communication has said that contribution is the most important human need, according to one of his students, Lucy Liu. I don’t know why he said this, but I completely agree with him.

Tony Robbins has said the same thing about growth and contribution.

What is contribution and why is it the most important human need?

Great question!

Contribution is serving something greater than ourselves and sharing with others.

Have you ever felt inclined to share something with others that has made you happy or filled you with awe and wonder?

Most children and even adults do. It brings me a lot of joy too.

Sharing our wonderful experiences magnifies them and extends their duration as well.

Laughing together at a great joke until our belly hurts.

Being thrilled by an amazing street performance that we are watching together with our spouse, both clapping excitedly.

Planting a fruit tree in our garden together with our family.

We could do all these things alone.

But would the feeling be just as powerful and easy to create and maintain?

No.

This is just one reason, the tip of the iceberg of why contribution is the number one human need. Let’s delve deeper into it.

So why is giving so fulfilling?

Or is it?

It might not be if you keep being focused on yourself as you give.

Thinking how “I” am not good enough.

How “I” will be rejected with what I share.

How “I” might be stupid, boring, unimportant, or incompetent.

So why bother?

Because these are beliefs and not reality. Because you are only thinking and feeling these while you are focused on yourself instead of the other.

Focusing on giving value to people who appreciate it is the fast track to getting out of your head and stopping your negative thoughts and emotions in their tracks.

This is one reason why this human need is so powerful.

But there’s more.

THE MOST IMPORTANT HUMAN NEED

Would you like to meet all your needs at the same time?

Contribute!

This is how it works:

Imagine there is a group of people you are about to meet.

You are certain they will benefit greatly from your information. It will make their lives and the lives of their families easier.

Are you beginning to feel some excitement?

Now imagine that you know your stuff like the back of your hand and you’ve done this many times confidently. You’re especially talented in this area so this is your unique contribution. It’ll be easy for you to convey your message. Your sense of certainty is turned up one notch again.

There is some variety involved too. And growth. You have to adapt your message to the existing knowledge of the people you’ll be helping.

It’ll always be different and it never becomes boring.

By explaining your material from different angles, you’ll master it further yourself. You’ll become the number one student there as others help you learn what you are teaching. Your needs for growth and variety are met at a high level.

You’ll necessarily connect with those you communicate with. The more you care about them, the more you’ll meet your need not just for connection but for love as well. The more you care about them, the more fulfilled you’ll be.

By giving others valuable information, they’ll think of you as someone important, needed, and valued.

If you accept this with humility, you’ll be able to meet your need for love and connection as well as for significance.

And all the rest of your needs too at a very high level.

Is this great or great?

THE SECRET TO LASTING HAPPINESS

Dedicating your life to meaningful contribution and constant growth makes it true to your subconscious mind that you’re going to easily survive and reproduce. It’s been wired to associate these things with each other.

If your subconscious believes that you are a survival and reproduction machine, this is what your body language and your entire being will convey automatically.

What you’ll be most aware of are your feelings of complete vibrancy, fulfillment, and joy.

Strangely, even coincidences will start to appear that support you on your path.

You’ll become more attractive and charismatic.

We become attractive by living in beautiful states that others want to be a part of too. And by meeting your needs at the highest level consistently is how you become and remain attractive and completely fulfilled.

The 66 Day Compassion Challenge

I want to be honest with you. Learning this, like anything important in life, takes time and commitment. I don’t believe in quick fixes. If you don’t either, you’re in the right place.

If you are fed up with being unfulfilled and want to learn how to do this, I invite you to accept this challenge.

During the next week, at least 3 times during the day ask yourself the question:

“What human needs and in what way have I been trying to meet in the last few hours?”

Recall the most emotionally intense moments, judgments, and conflict situations.

Try to identify the human needs the other persons involved were trying to meet as well.

Identifying the human needs your favorite characters are trying to meet in movies and books will help you greatly too.

Do this for a whole week. You’ll start to notice that you’re getting the hang of it more and more.

But don’t stop there. I encourage you to extend the entire length of the challenge to 66 days. Research has shown that on average it takes us 66 days to create a new habit that will stay with us.

For now just do it for a week and notice as your ability to spot and identify needs that are trying to be met, increases day by day.

I can’t have a conversation or even watch a movie without constantly being aware of what drives everyone and what I can do to help people meet their human needs. You’ll get to experience the same if you continue practicing.

This article was originally written by Attila Beres and published on www.attilaberes.com. Copyright © Attila Beres. All rights reserved. Warning: if you’re seeing this text on any website other than the original one, the site owner has used my content without my permission.

Reward yourself immediately with something small for each successful, compassionate understanding of a situation that you used to judge in the past. Give yourself a high-five, a bite of chocolate, a tap on your shoulder, have a 10 minutes break.

Let me know how it went! Bookmark this article now and come back to leave a comment on your progress!

Don’t forget about me! My feelings may be hurt because they are tender like a rosebud 🙂

This is an area I am madly passionate about and I will be sending more content like this to your way soon which you don’t want to miss.

Please let me know if you’ve got any questions or leave a comment below!

I’d be grateful for it!

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