Tony Robbins, 6 Human Needs: Kim’s Notes

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These are my notes from Day 6 of Tony Robbins’ Personal Edge Course where he discusses 6 Human Needs. This helped me understand that there is an emotional side to everything I do. Learning to harness the emotional side can put me in flow, instead of constantly battling for discipline and motivation.

We must understand the difference between leverage and drive.

We need to know the goal of the game of life because it puts us in flow. all the time, now.

4 Classes of Experience

  1. feels good – for you, for others, for the world
  2. does not feel good – is good for you, others, and the world
  3. feels good – not good for me, others, the world
  4. does not feel good – is not good for me, others and the world
  • Take class 2 experiences, and turn them into class 1
  • Classes 3 & 4 are needing change

The 6 Human Needs

People are people. We have the same problems worldwide, regardless of cultures etc. People also have the same basic needs. Sometimes, these needs are in conflict.

Not a desire, a need.

1) Certainty/ Predictability/ Comfort/ Consistency 

  • ability to avoid pain and get pleasure
  • gives stability, and a way to function
  • certainty = survival –> fueled by faith
  • learn not to get too certain about anything too quickly
  • requires evidence and faith
  • no one can take away your certainty–> people give you an idea, YOU take it in
  • asking the same questions over and over creates uncertainty
  • we all have the same needs, but different vehicles to get certainty
  • we use bad vehicles: busy work, food, controlling others, etc.
  • we create a bad identity (ie, saying “I am a procrastinator”)
  • Predictability/Comfort/Consistency of doing the same thing
  • Beware seductive class 3 experience: these feel good, but they’re not good for us
  • people use false vehicles for certainty, comfort, pleasure
  • DO create a positive identity for yourself
  • decide to have faith, and feel that you are guided –> this helps create certainty
  • Do draw on you past victories, and turn-arounds
  • because you know you’re a giver and you believe in karma
  • What happens when you’re totally certain? –>confidence, ;lose edge, get bored and frustrated with predictability

When you totally satiate a need, you are unhappy.

2) Uncertainty/ Variety/ Surprise/ Diversity/ Excitement/ Challenge 

  • too much certainty creates boredom, feels like death
  • apparent paradox – but it serves you
  • uncertainty is excitement and creation
  • So how do you have variety and certainty?
  • people will violate their values to meet their needs (or take on a new challenge) ie – pick a fight in a relationship
  • this is related to state change: things you do/vehicles meet a need
  • ASK – what need is being met, how is your state changing?
  • think of your need on a 10-scale
  • learn to meet the need in a more productive way
  • DO go to a movie, or a sporting event; AVOID drugs and alcohol because these are class 3 experiences
  • Discipline is not enough –> need to replace the bad vehicle with a good vehicle
  • ASK – what are my strategies for comfort and variety, both positive and negative?
  • refocus, and see how you can best meet your need for both certainty and uncertainty


3) Significance / Being Needed/ Purposeful/ Unique/ Meaning/ Specialness

  • Some vehicles: tear others down, violence, negative identity, having to be right, arguing
  • whatever we do has a reason/ meets a need, consciously or unconsciously
  • Other vehicles: learning/ knowing the answer, contributing, gaining titles, spirituality, acquiring things, being quirky, looking good, style (uniqueness), eccentricity, having children, feeling needed, feeling important, having a skill-set/ specialized knowledge, compassion and giving, money, who you know, differentiation
  • ASK: What are things I do that make me feel significant

What happens when you satiate your need for significance? It interferes with your need for connection.

4) Connection/ Love/ Family/ Relationships

  • vehicles: sympathies, crime, violence, gangs, organization, community, church, relationship with spouse, family, friends, sexuality, spirituality, being in nature, pets, self-sacrifice, giving, joining a team/ club, appreciate beauty/ soap operas etc.
  • demanding significance/ attention pushes people away
  • Whatever you want to receive in your life, give it!

Give that which you wish to receive.

People have needs. Sometimes, they choose bad vehicles. These bad vehicles meet the need enough to be satisfied, but not really fulfilled. The way you approach these first 4 needs determines your success with the last 2.

5) Growth

  • people need to grow
  • growth or death

6) Contribute/ Go Beyond Yourself

  • must serve the greater good, not only yourself
  • random acts of kindness

Growth & Contribution = Fulfillment

[Kim’s Note: This list of 6 can easily be taken down to 4. I think numbers 5 & 2 go together, (How do we grow? We grow through new experiences.) and numbers 6&3  (contributing, and going beyond ourselves is a search for meaning and purpose) go together]

Closing Suggestions

Find vehicles that meet all your needs.

  • For each need ask, what do you love to do that is effortless? (rate that on a 10-scale)
  • Then, for each need ask, what do you hate to do? (Again, rate that on a 10-scale)
  1. Be aware of what your needs are, and how you fulfill them
  2. Ask, what need is this action meeting?
  3. Ask, How can I change the way I go about it, or think about it to meet my needs?
  4. Then, go be proactive about meeting this need so you don’t wait for it to show up.
  5. Always look to raise your class of experience to a higher level.

A different strategy in a given situation, different meanings = fulfillment.

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