I never got into Oprah until about the beginning of last year, when I became addicted to Oprah’s Life Class. Great Show. The first season was amazing. Things got busy after that and I didn’t watch continuously, but I know she completed Oprah’s Lifeclass: The Tour with some amazing guest speakers: Bishop T.D. Jakes, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, and Iyanla Vanzant.
In the 1st season I was introduced to Ekhart Tolle and his book, A New Earth and it is basically my bible! MUST READ!
( And if you’d like a “syllabus,” go here: http://www.oprah.com/oprahsbookclub/A-New-Earth-Syllabus)
I heard Tony Robbins speak about the Six Human Needs, on Oprah’s Next Chapter, and I found his theory extremely interesting. So I’m just going to list them, explain them briefly and ask you to complete the task he asked of us.
Put these basic human needs in order according to what you think is most important for you to fulfill in order to be happy.
First think of specific things that make you happy, then categorize them. If you can think of nothing that fulfills certain needs, you may want to try making some changes in your behavior to meet these needs and see if you feel any more fulfilled. You can also assign a number on a scale of 1-5 to indicate the level to which certain needs are being met, if you can’t provide a black and white answer. You may feel partially fulfilled by certain behaviors and some of your needs may be filled in a negative way and may also require changes toward positivity.
Six Human Needs
1. Certainty / Comfort
2. Variety / Uncertainty
4. Connection / Love
1. Certainty/Comfort: We feel a sense of certainty when we believe we have a strong foundation and the ground we stand on is solid. This need can be fulfilled by a steady job, a faithful partner, good friends, a comfortable home, control, a developed skill, avoiding pain, etc., all the things that would shake us to our core if we lost them, even if we do sometimes need a little uncertainty.
2. Variety/Uncertainty: As it often happens with us, once we feel comfortable, we then begin to feel bored, and certainty itself becomes uncomfortable and all too familiar. Everyone has felt the need to shake things up. Some people feel most comfortable when feeling uncertain and are natural adventurers. The rest of us just need a little spice in our honey to make it even sweeter. Surprise.
3. Significance: The need to feel important, as if our presence on the earth matters. We like the attention and the feelings we feel when we fulfill a significant role in the lives of others. Special. Unique. And as a result of this need, people seek attention in a plethora of ways, both positive and negative: a high salary, advanced degrees, tattoos, piercings, violence. Some people strive to be the hero, others strive to be the villain. Some don’t strive for anything and convince themselves they are significant, and others never feel significant enough and become depressed, making their own issues so significant that they are consumed by them.
“We all want it, most people settle for connection
because love’s too scary.” – Tony Robbins
The difference between love and connection is that love requires you to give precedence to someone or something outside of yourself. And that is difficult for many people. Love may evolve from connection, but connection is much more easily accessible. We can form a connection to people who share similar hobbies, work interests, any club or organization, family, friends, partners, spirituality. Without a feeling of connection or love we tend to feel untethered, like we’re floating in space alone. I personally believe this is the strongest human need of all, and all the rest fall in a sort of sub-category of love (my personal opinion).
These four needs are the Needs of the Personality: Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance, Connection.
And according to Robbins, if three of these needs are met through one source, we become addicted!
For instance, I think the easiest example is drug addiction. You know for certain that your mental state will be altered, you feel a connection to others you are indulging with, a connection to self, or a higher power. You also feel uncertain of where the high will take you.
People can be addictive, relationships, behaviors, thought patterns, etc. So this may be something we want to be aware of, even if it is a healthy addiction.
The next two needs are the Needs of the Spirit: Growth, Contribution
As are ego always finds a way to fulfill the needs of the personality, the needs of the spirit are often left unfulfilled if we do not put conscious effort into fulfilling them. They are also the two needs that have the propensity for maximum fulfillment and happiness.
5. Growth: In order to feel happy and fulfilled, we need to grow, excel, become better people by improving ourselves. In order to grow we have to go through changes that are often painful and scary. This pain is a reason people often do not seek to grow; they know the process or are fearful of the future. People who are unwilling to grow often feel stuck, bored, depressed, and refuse to deal with the problems/hurdles that they must face in life, which is unfortunate because we have to grow to be able to give!
“The secret to living is giving.” – Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins says that we are most fulfilled when we contribute, when we help/serve others and try to give something of ourselves that is valuable to the rest of the world. And once we become excited by contribution– by having experienced it– and not just talked about it, we begin to feel true happiness. In order to fulfill all six needs in a positive way we should first fulfill the needs of the spirit (growth and contribution) because it takes the focus off of us and our own pain and pleasure, and draws our attention beyond ourselves to a space that acknowledges the importance of contribution.
Those are all six needs!
Now put these in order, and realize that your lead system tilts you in the direction your life will take.
Cheers to conscious living!
P.S. Still working on these myself. I’m no expert, just believe in the philosophy!