We all operate on the notion that our basic needs will be met. It starts as an infant knowing that our mother will pick us up and feed our hungry tummies when we cry. Feeling overjoyed and truly surprised when you show up to a restaurant to have all your close ones waiting to celebrate your birthday. When you’ve trained like nothing else mattered for a competition and pulled off 1st place. Or knowing that no matter what, someone’s always got your back.
When all of our needs are met we live a life with intention, joy, on purpose, and an open heart. For many of us, our childhoods, relationships or lack of, negative self talk have kept many from obtaining some of the Human Needs necessary. Interviewing individuals and listening to their life stories is the largest focus in my business and there are key words and expressions regularly used that identify which areas of their life is lacking or fulfilled, without exception. When I kept hearing the same answers/phrases over and over more or less I was curious and researched some noted professionals who identified these motivations towards happiness and fulfillment as “Human Needs”
I encourage you to identify in which area of your life is not being fulfilled and ask yourself why? Get really honest with yourself, dig a little, go to that uncomfortable place in your heart and mind you haven’t visited for a while, when you break it open, miracles can happen!
The first need is for certainty. To feel safe, (women use this word often),free to walk around without fear, avoid pain, comfortable in our home and relationships. Every person needs to have some sense of certainty of where our next meal is coming from, having a roof over our heads, safe environment, if we become ill, that we can receive medical care. . For some, having lots of money constitutes safety, for others a pension cheque is all that is needed. This need varies from person to person. Words used for this need: certainty, safety, grounded, comfort.
The second need is for variety/unknown. To feel surprised, scared, overwhelmed, change, sense of adventure. With certainty, there is a comfort, routines and processes make people feel safe, but variety and excitement is necessary to feeling alive and hopeful. For some, changing their daily routine a little is enough, for others jumping out of an airplane or swimming with sharks, or obtaining many sexual partners is required to feel that same way. Inviting drama and chaos into our lives is another major way to have the need of variety met. Words used for this need: Fear, fun, excitement, drama, chaos, variety, adventure, spontaneous.
The third need is significance. We all have the need to feel important, that we matter, that we are heard, we are wanted, a sense of belonging. Significance comes from comparing ourselves with others and feeling special in some sense. It can raise our standards, keep us focused, make us feel superior or inferior. If we are overtly focused on significance, our connections with others can suffer and our relationships will change. For some, significance comes from providing for the family, working for causes, building an empire and for some, it’s tearing down others to feel significance. Words used for the need: self worth, importance, special, standards, competition, rejection.
The fourth need is Love. Everyone needs to experience love and connection on some level. Babies need love and connection for a long time to thrive and and develop normally, babies that are not held and touched can die. This need for love continues throughout our lives and blooms into romantic love as adults. We want that one person who has our back, that we can count on to fulfill our hopes and dreams (lots of pressure!) For some, it comes from relatives, community, their work, church, and service. The need to be loved is felt by all humans and is the most significant of all the needs. Words used for the need: passion, togetherness, fulfilled, connection, partner, desire.
The fifth need is growth. We have a desire to continually grow emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Anything in our life we want to change; (health, money, happiness, relationships), must be cultivated, developed and expanded.
The sixth need is contribution. To go beyond our selves and give to others, to causes ,to feel complete and give back. To leave a legacy through foundations, buildings, hospitals, parks, our children, our work. Everyone can contribute through donating their time, contribution, through their children’s schools, it is essential for fulfillment and happiness.
It’s my wish that all readers will take away something beneficial for themselves.
Lead with Love