How to have your needs met!

Recently I had the privilege of spending an evening with more than 50 people who I completed school with in 1990.

A few conversations stuck in my mind.

One person had traveled the world working in interesting locations and on challenging projects. Their goal was to always look for the impossible and make it happen. Someone saying NO was the driver to prove them wrong.

This person continues to be successful and chooses projects that challenge and receives a great deal of personal satisfaction from this.

Another person expressed his admiration of me, having lived and worked in Ireland and then emigrated to Australia more than 15 years ago, he thought that I was “pretty cool”.

He felt stuck in his own life, lacking a sense of adventure and general feeling of being alive. He was full aware that he was trading his sense of comfort and safety for a life of adventure. Mostly he felt like he could do more and be more and was missing out on his life.

This made me think of a concept I have come across in my profession as a Human Behavior Specialist.

The 6 Core Needs.

The 6 core needs originating from Human Needs Psychology – firstly mentioned by Tony Robbins.

These core needs are like oxygen, we all need them to breathe and live them every second of our lives. Like everything in life that is seeking balance they have a resourceful and an unresoureful side – the dark side.

These needs are developed in the modelling phase from about 8-15 where we try out the beliefs we formed in the imprinting phase from 0-7 to cement our picture of the world.

The 6 core needs are:

1. Certainty

2. Uncertainty – also called Variety

3. Connection

4. Significance

5. Growth

6. Contribution


In these peoples lives these old school friends met their needs in very different ways.


In an un-resourceful stage the person seeks order, control and a sense of security. The core driver is the avoidance of pain and fear.

A symptom of this is for example being stuck in a job to keep you save despite being unhappy.

This was vividly played out in the life of my old school friend who felt like he could do more with his life and felt stuck.

If the need for certainty is made too much a priority, it leads to boredom.

A person wanting to get away from this needs to embrace the second core need – Variety.


In an un-resourceful stage the person experiences overwhelm, has super annoying habits like changing TV channels, perhaps takes drugs and conducts self sabotage. They haven’t yet found their higher purpose in life and attract drama into their lives.

They haven’t found a way to be adventurous in an resourceful way and chaos ensues. The core driver is seeking pleasure and freedom.

In an resourceful state the person exudes playfulness, fun, embraces adventure for example has adventurous hobbies, seeks challenges and creativity.

It became apparent to me that the other person was embracing this core need in a resourceful way – finding new and challenging projects, yet at the same time seeing things through and being accountable to the outcome.

Certainty – the first core need – in a resourceful way is about backing and trusting yourself that you are enough. It’s only when we find certainty within ourselves, that we can let go of the external need for control and safety.

Variety – the second core need – in a resourceful way is about embracing adventure, seeking out challenges and spicing up life. The more variety you can enjoy in your life, the more successful you become.

What happens in coaching? 

In coaching and human behaviour psychology addressing these needs with a client and moving them to a resourceful state is paramount to achieving happiness and satisfaction.

By taking the time to understand what drives people – I can begin to understand how they shape their world and whether or not they are meeting their needs in a resourceful or un-resourceful way.

We are all influenced and motivated by the order of importance we place on each of the core needs. By discovering which two of the core needs we value most in our lives we can begin to understand the reasons behind our actions.

You can find out which core needs you value most by the excuses and stories you use in your lives to not achieve what you want.

Here a link to watch Tony’s explanation of The 6 Core Needs.

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