We have seen it a million times that people equate their net worth with their self-worth. Their identity is married so deeply to their bank statements and quarterly portfolio reports that they have forgotten that money is simply a vehicle for trying to meet our needs, almost all of which are not financial. We are all familiar with the cliche that money cannot buy happiness, but I am convinced that almost everybody has to learn that lesson the hard way because let’s face it; the idea of having enough money to throw at your problems until they are solved is a seductive impulse.
Whatever emotion you are after, whatever vehicle you pursue whether it is building a business, getting married, raising a family, travelling the world, whatever you think your nirvana is, there are six basic, universal needs that make us tick and drive all human behaviour. Combined, they are the force behind the great things that successful people achieve. We all have the same six needs, but how we value those needs and in which order, determines the direction of our life.
Motivational speaker Tony Robbins notes down these 6 needs as the most vital needs to lead a successful life:
#1 Certainty :
The first human need is the need for Certainty. It is our need to feel in control and to know what is coming next so that we can feel secure. It is the need for basic comfort, the need to avoid pain and stress, and also to create pleasure. Our need for certainty is a survival mechanism. It reflects how much risk we are willing to take in life like in our jobs, in our investments and in our relationships. The higher the need for certainty, the less risk you will be willing to take or emotionally bear.
#2 Uncertainty/ Variety:
Let me ask you a question: Do you like surprises? If you answered “yes”, you are kidding yourself! You only like the surprises you want. The ones you don’t want, you call them problems. But you still need them to put some muscle in your life. You cannot grow muscle or character unless you have something to push back against. Uncertainty helps you craft your life and makes you ready for the challenges.
We all need to feel important, special, unique or needed. So how does one feel significant? You can get it by earning billions of dollars or collecting academic degrees by distinguishing yourself with a master’s or a PhD.
Spending a lot of money can make you feel significant, and so can spend very little. Some very wealthy people gain significance by hiding their wealth. Like the late Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart and for a time the richest man in America, who drove around in his old pickup, demonstrating he didn’t need a Bentley but of course, he did have his own private fleet of jets standing by.
Feeling significant will help you boost your confidence and lead you to a desired successful life.
#4 Love and Connection
The fourth basic need is Love and Connection. Tony Robbins quoted in the UPW London 2017 that “Love is the oxygen of the SOUL”; it is what we all want and need the most. When we love completely we feel alive, but when we lose love, the pain is so great that most people settle on connection, the crumbs of love. You can get that sense of connection or love through intimacy, or friendship, or prayer, or walking in nature.
If you are not growing, you are dying. If a relationship is not growing, if a business is not growing, if you are not growing, it does not matter how much money you have in the bank, how many friends you have, how many people love you, you are not going to experience real fulfilment. And the reason we grow is so that we have something of value to give.
Corny as it may sound, the secret to living is giving. Life is not about me; it is about us. Think about it, what is the first thing you do when you get good or exciting news? You call somebody you love and share it. Sharing enhances everything you experience.
Life is really about creating meaning. And meaning does not come from what you get, it comes from what you give. Ultimately it is not what you get that will make you happy in the long term, but rather who you become and what you contribute will.
But here is what we truly believe: if you value Significance above all, money will always leave you empty unless it comes from a contribution you have made. And if you are looking for significance from money, it is a high price to pay for. You are looking for big numbers but it is unlikely that you will find big fulfilment.
The ultimate significance in life comes not from something external, but from something internal. It comes from a sense of esteem for ourselves, which is not something we can ever get from someone else. People can tell you, you are beautiful, smart, intelligent, the best, or they can tell you that you are the most horrible human being on earth but in the end what matters is what you think about yourself.