Tony Robbins – Six Human Needs

FOLLOWING on from the theme of my last post, which highlighted Alain de Botton’s kinder and gentler philosophy of success, I think it would be valuable to consider why we do what we do. In an attempt to become “successful” many of us work long hours and sacrifice time that could be spent with friends and family. Why?

Tony Robbins is an American self-help writer and professional speaker who believes that there are six basic human needs, and that people are motivated by their desire to fulfill these needs:

1. Certainty/Comfort

We all require a basic level of certainty that we will be able to avoid pain and obtain pleasure. For example, at a very basic level we want the comfort that comes from having a roof over our head, clean water and three meals a day for ourselves and our family.

2. Variety

If life is completely certain and predictable it is likely to become boring. So, we also require some level of variety.

3. Significance

We all require a feeling that we are unique and important, and that our life has meaning. This need can be fulfilled in various ways, one way might be work in a highly paid, highly respected profession.

4. Connection/Love

We all want to feel part of a community, to be cared for and cared about.

5. Growth

Growth is an important part of life in general. We all want to grow, develop and improve our abilities and position in life.

6. Contribution

On some level, we all want to contribute something of value, to help others, or to make the world a better place.

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One Reply to “Tony Robbins – Six Human Needs”

  1. Hi Tom,

    This was actually an essay question we had for management earlier in the semester. I looked at the question from the point of view of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. His ‘Hierarchy’ is loosely correlated with the ideas of Tony Robbins.

    I think it’s interesting that most people say that they work ‘to put bread on the table’ or to ‘keep a roof over our heads’, but there is little acknowledgment about the other functions work plays in people’s lives that you mentioned.

    I also looked at the multiple negative functions work serves in people’s lives, and it led me to the obvious conclusion that work is a major paradox for most people.

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