Last night, I read Marianne Power’s most recent post on the six basic human needs. Yes, it may seem like I’ve become obsessed with this woman and maybe I have. But not in a lesbian way. In an admiring, respecting, fellow-blogger-and-self-help-enthusiast way.
Anyway, I found Marianne’s post really interesting. Marianne is regurgitating self-improvement guru Tony Robbins’ work and I, in turn, am regurgitating Marianne’s work. But we’re all putting our own spin, experience and insights into it.
So here’s my take on Marianne Power’s take on Tony Robbins’ take on the six basic human needs. First of all, let me give you the six basic human needs, in Marianne’s words:
“Need 1: Certainty/Comfort
Our need to feel in control and secure.
Need 2: Uncertainty/Variety
Our need for variety, surprises.
Need 3: Significance
We all need to feel important, special, unique, or needed – some of us get a feeling of significance from our work, some do it by having a flash car or by getting a thousand Twitter followers. You can get significance by having more or bigger problems than anybody else (moi) and criminals get it by the attention they get for their crimes.
Need 4: Love & Connection
We all need love but many of us are terrified of it and settle for connection, through our romantic relationships, friendships, our pets, walking through nature.
Need 5: Growth
If you’re not growing, you’re dying – whether that’s growing your business, your relationships, your education etc.
Need 6: Contribution
‘Life’s not about me; it’s about we,’ says Tony, who reckons that giving is what life’s all about.”
Marianne suggests (or maybe it was Tony Robbins who suggested it but I can’t keep up) asking yourself the following question:
OUT OF THE SIX HUMAN NEEDS WHICH TWO HAVE YOU BEEN VALUING THE MOST?
For me, Significance has definitely been one of my biggest needs. I want to feel special and I get that feeling by writing this blog, taking selfies, getting likes on Facebook, doing well in school and college, and having men fancy me. I like to be liked. I love to be loved. And I want other people to think I’m nice, pretty, talented, funny and desirable.
Love and Connection is also high on my list of priorities. I don’t feel comfortable unless I’m connecting. I achieve this connection by communicating with others, meditating, and communing with nature. I seek connection through affection, intimacy and even technology. And through all this connection, what I’m really hoping to experience is love. Pure, beautiful, all-encompassing, unconditional love.
The next question is: WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF VALUING THOSE NEEDS?
The consequences I face are feelings of sadness, loneliness, rejection and depression when I delude myself that I’m alone, insignificant and unloved. I don’t deal well with criticism. And rejection is almost physical in its ability to wound me (hopefully not for much longer as I’m participating in this Rejection Therapy game).
In order to protect myself from the shadow side of significance, love and connection, I withdraw. I shut down. Or I try to be perfect because I convince myself that no one will love me otherwise.
Now, ask yourself: WHAT WOULD BE YOUR TOP TWO NEEDS NOW FOR YOUR LIFE TO TRANSFORM?
For my life to transform, I have to prioritise Growth. Growth keeps you moving, learning, improving and evolving.
When I stop being so hard on myself, I can acknowledge that I actually am growing in all areas of my life. I’m attending courses, seeing a Life Coach, reading, making progress in my career, and changing the way I relate with life, other people and, most importantly, myself.
I also choose to focus on Contribution. Significance brings up a competitive streak in me. It’s all about being better, smarter and prettier. The need for significance fuels a striving to be more popular, more talented, more successful, more loved.
But life isn’t meant to be a competition. We’re all in this together. To be really spiritual about it, we’re all one.
Once I understand that, I want to cooperate and collaborate rather than compete. I want to help and share and give.
Tony Robbins says that Growth and Contribution are the needs that make you happy and fulfilled. He calls them Spiritual Needs, while the first four are the Needs of the Personality.
I actually felt chuffed that I’d got it “right”. There I go racing back to my need for Significance. But I’m aware of my tendencies now and the reasons behind them. I’m learning. There’s growth in that. And I’m sharing all of this with you guys. So I’m contributing.
Now to go off on a completely different tangent, today I remembered Marianne’s challenge to smile at strangers. I thought: That’s easy. I’m always smiling at strangers.
Until I walked past an attractive man on a bridge this morning. I considered smiling at him but he was scowling. Cool, handsome scowling but scowling nonetheless.
I realised that smiling at strangers isn’t easy at all. I found it hard to look at this man, let alone smile at him.
I’d love to tell you that I felt the fear and smiled anyway. But I didn’t. I bottled it. But I did look at him, which is more than I’d have done before. Baby steps.
Another realisation I had on that bridge is that it’s easy to smile at strangers when they’re already smiling. Handsome, scowling men don’t invite smiles. But smiley, kind-faced people do. So I think we should all smile more.
And to waffle on for just a little longer, after last night’s post on wanting men to beat down my door (metaphorically of course), I received a random text from a man I went on a date with once. This “putting it out there to the Universe” stuff might actually work.
So, here goes… Are you listening, Universe? I would like a successful career that I love and that helps others to be all that they can be. I would like an abundant, happy life filled with peace, love, fun, laughter, beauty, friendship, enjoyment and adventure.
While I’m at it, I would like to be financially secure, own a great house, and go on lots of amazing holidays around the world. I would like health, wealth and well-being for myself and all my friends and family and the whole wide world.
And if you’re still listening Universe, I would like to get swept off my feet by (and have a healthy, wonderful relationship with) an older, available but equally smouldering version of Zayn Malik.
Image of Zayn Malik: www.heatworld.com