Why We Do What We Do

Tony Robbins, author of Unlimited PowerUnleash the Power Within, and Awaken the Giant Within, postulates that there are six needs that drive us, as humans, to do the things that we do.

1. Certainty
Everyone needs certainty that they can avoid pain and at least be comfortable. Now, how do you get it? Control everybody? Develop a skill? Give up? Smoke a cigarette? And if you got totally certain, ironically, even though we need that — you’re not certain about your health, or your children, or money. If you’re not sure the ceiling will hold up, you won’t listen to any speaker. While we go for certainty differently, if we get total certainty, we get what? What do you feel if you’re certain? You know what will happen, when and how it will happen, what would you feel? Bored out of your minds. So, God, in Her infinite wisdom, gave us a second human need, which is:

2. Uncertainty
We need variety. We need surprise.

3. Significance
We all need to feel important, special, unique. Some can get it by making more money or being more spiritual. Some can do it by getting themselves in a situation where you put more tattoos and earrings in places humans don’t want to know. Whatever it takes. A fast way to do this, if you have no background, no culture, no belief and resources or resourcefulness, is violence. If I put a gun to your head and I live in the ‘hood, instantly I’m significant. Zero to 10. How high? 10. How certain am I that you’re going to respond to me? 10. How much uncertainty? Who knows what’s going to happen next? Kind of exciting. Total variety and uncertainty. And it’s significant, isn’t it? So you want to risk your life for it. So that’s why violence has always been around and will be around unless we have a consciousness change as a species. You can get significance a million ways, but to be significant, you’ve got to be unique and different.

4. Connection and Love
We all want it; We can get it through intimacy, friendship, prayer, or even through walking in nature.

These first four needs are the needs of the personality, Robbins exclaims? The last two are the needs of the spirit. And this is where fulfillment comes. You’ll figure a way-smoke, drink, do whatever, meet the first four. But number five:

5. You Must Grow
We all know the answer. If you don’t grow, you’re what? If a relationship or business is not growing, if you’re not growing, doesn’t matter how much money or friends you have, how many love you, you feel like hell. The reason we grow is so we have something to give of value.

6. Contribute Beyond Ourselves
Because we all know the secret to living is giving. We all know life is not about me, it’s about we. This culture knows that. It’s exciting. When you see a passionate entrepreneur talking about his $100 computer, the most exciting thing is: here’s a genius, but he’s got a calling now. You can feel the difference in him, and it’s beautiful. And that calling can touch other people.


What I would like to invite you to do is explore where you are today, for two reasons. One: so that you can contribute more. And two: that hopefully we can not only understand other people more, but also appreciate them more, and create the kinds of connections that can stop some of the challenges that we face today.

If this post made you rethink your approach to living life in any way, please do others a service and SHARE the love. :)  

Let’s Foster Critical Thinking.

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