There are six universal basic human needs. And, what’s important to know about these needs is that the way that we fulfill them and their order of importance for us define who we are and determine our behavior.
There are four needs of the personality and two needs of the spirit.
Needs of the Personality:
1. Certainty. We all need a certain amount of certainty. We need to know that there is more than a reasonable chance that no harm will be done to us. We need to know that the basic necessities of life will be there for us. We need to feel secure.
2. Uncertainty. If we could predict the future, if we knew everything that is going to happen to us, we would be bored out of our minds. So we need a certain amount of uncertainty in our lives.
3. Significance. Every one needs to feel that they are important. That they matter. That they are worthy of respect. That, in some way, they are special.
4. Connection and love. No man is an island. We need to be loved and appreciated. We need to connect with other people. We need to belong in someone’s heart and mind.
Needs of the spirit:
1. Growth. We need to feel that we are evolving, that we are improving. We need to feel that we are on an upward course of self-development and self-fulfillment.
2. Contribution. It is just normal to feel the need to contribute in some way to someone. It makes us feel good to do so. Contribution is the final stage in human development. Once a person can fulfill his own needs the need for contribution automatically kicks in.
The way that we respond to those needs determine who we are as individuals. That is why it is important to determine which is the predominant need as far as we are concerned because that one need has extreme influence in our life. It reveals much about how we think, how we see the world along with giving insight on our behavior.
After reviewing these needs we might find out that our most important need is not leading us down the path that we would like to follow and that maybe we should concentrate on another need instead.
As an example, someone who has an excessive need for significance might find out that he would be better served by concentrating on the need of connection and love. That person may have been trying to fulfill the need for love by trying to acquire a higher plateau of self-importance.
After some introspection it could also be found that some basic needs have been completely ignored. Usually that would be in the realm of the needs of the spirit, that is, growth and contribution. It is impossible to feel whole if these fundamental needs are not fulfilled.
To feel whole, to feel complete, to grow and expand as we should, all these six needs have to be adequately fulfilled. A task that no one else can do for us.
About the Author: