Human Needs Psychology

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Who Needs Human Needs Psychology?
We all do!

Your mindset, your state of mind, your attitude, your outlook on life, call it what you will, it is you who decides how to interpret every little thing that happens to you – good or bad.

It is your mind that ultimately decides whether or not you can do something, and it is your mind that will then decide to actually do it!

It is therefore your own mind that determines your success and happiness.

It then seems absurd not to master your own mind, so you can obtain the success and happiness you want, but the truth is most people don’t really know that they have relinquished conscious control of their own minds!

Human Needs Psychology is a practical way in which you can quickly understand what’s really going on with you, and find ways to get on track.

The 6 Basic Human Needs (from Tony Robbins)

By understanding these needs in general, and how we as individuals fulfill these needs is the fundamental key to understanding and improving our behaviour.


The need to know that you can avoid pain and gain pleasure.  This is a fusion of Maslow’s Physiological and Safety needs, and a little bit more.  We all want a sense of security, to know where our next meal is coming from, what to do if we are sick etc. which is what Maslow covers.  The need for Certainty also involves our desire for consistency – for instance, if we went into Starbucks and ordered a Cappuccino we expect it to be the same every time;  it’s the satisfaction we get from knowing things will be just as they are meant to be – every single time, without fail.  While some people will fulfil this need for certainty by just having a roof over their heads, others will require a Porsche too.   We all need certainty, but exactly how it is fulfilled, and what it means varies for each of us.  Stability, predictability and comfort all come from, and are part of certainty.



The need for the unknown, for change, new stimuli.  Another way of describing certainty and predictability is – “boring” which is why we also need the surprise and mystery of Uncertainty.  While the same routine every day can make us feel secure, we also need to feel alive by being faced with challenges, exercises, and thrills – entertainment.  Anything from bungee jumping to reading a good book can provide the variety we need.  While there are many healthy ways to meet these needs, others have chosen more risky and destructive ways – such as promiscuity, or consistently getting into tricky situations.


Feeling unique, important, special or needed. This is the same as Maslow’s need for Esteem – to achieve, be
competent, gain approval and recognition. Politicians, actors, rock stars and everyone going on X-factor is trying to fulfill their need for significance on some level. We all want to feel important at some point, to be unique and special. As babies we were ‘number one’ and we loved it, but as we grew up we found it was harder to get attention. This need could be the completely narcissistic ambitions of a hedonistic poet like Byron, or ‘It girl’ like Paris Hilton; or it could drive someone to be an Olympic Gold Medalist, or build an I-phone (although this kind of achievement also fulfills the needs of Growth and Contribution). Being significant can also come from being ill (think about the attention you got as a kid when you where sick – chronic illness can be a learned behaviour), always failing or anything else that draws attention to you. Again, how much significance we all need is individual, and there are constructive and destructive ways of achieving it.


A strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something. Again, the same as Maslow’s Love and Belonging – to affiliate with others and be accepted. There are so many ways this need can be fulfilled from the obvious concept of romantic love and friendship, to belonging to groups, clubs, a community or work place. It is an attempt to meet this need that also leads to gangs forming in areas with no other chances to connect and belong.


An expansion of capacity, capability or understanding – to know, understand explore. Whereas Maslow put our highest aspirations and needs under a single heading of “self-actualisation” Tony Robbins has found it more practical to separate these into growth and contribution. Growth is what all living things do – and when we stop growing we die.
There are four main areas in which we experience growth – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So we can fulfil our needs for growth by growing richer financially or spiritually, by getting fitter, or reading a book to learn something.


A sense of service and focus on helping, giving, and supporting others. Once we have fulfilled all our own needs, we can go beyond and contribute to others. We all enjoy giving in some way, whether it is to our kids, or a charity, whether it is money, time or resources. We can contribute by saving rain forests for future generations, or inventing a better way to live!

If you would like to go deeper in to Human Needs Psychology, including the 6 Major Roadblocks that Prevent Change,  and learn about multiple health strategies to live a long and healthy life, with a healthy brain and emotions, then apply to join The Anti-Ageing Health Lab:

Get Your Health Back

Written by Dr Chris Pickard

Published on 4 Dec 2012


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