Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Six Human Needs

the six human needs
I recently came across Tony Robbins' website, an American life coach and self-proclaimed "catalyst for change and strategist for success". Amongst plenty of useful information and resources, his post about the six human needs on his blog caught my attention.

My first thought was how illuminating it would be to turn it into a Tarot spread / reading, so before I do that, here's a summary of what the six human needs are all about.

Every day we strive to fulfil our basic needs:
  1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure ( I would also include here the need for security, stability, a sense of permanence, structure, routine) 
  2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli 
  3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed (also: recognition, appraisal)
  4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something (also: friendships, social interactions)
  5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding 
  6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others
In order to support and fulfil these needs, we create a multitude of beliefs and take action according to the needs we tend to focus on the most.

So, here's the first question for you to answer:

Which of these six needs do you tend to focus on or value the most?

What motivates you? Which of the six core needs influences your decisions? What is making you tick? 

I'm sure that deep down you already know the answer, but you can use the Tarot to explore this question further. For this purpose, I have chosen two of my personal tarot cards based on my date of birth to explore this question:

the hermit aquatic tarot
the moon aquatic tarotPersonality Card: The Hermit

Linked to Virgo, the Hermit suggests earthy needs, such as security, stability and certainty, but also the need to delve into the unknown seeking new stimuli and variety

Zodiac Card: The Moon

According to the Moon, linked to my sun sign Pisces, I am more inclined to focus on uncertainty and variety than anything else. Fluctuations, drifting, restlessness are key traits of the Moon and of my life so far. 

Interestingly, both Virgo and Pisces are mutable signs. People born under or influenced by mutable signs tend to be adaptable, flexible, going with the flow, resourceful and versatile, but they can also be volatile, unpredictable and feeling insecure at times. 

My focus on uncertainty/variety has come as a bit of a surprise to me. I always thought I tend to base most of my life choices on certainty and love/connection, but this isn't so. In fact, for some of my most important decisions I have relinquished certainty and love/connection for the sake of variety. 

What are the ways (good and bad) you meet these needs? For example, in your relationships, work, eating, exercise, etc.?

Again, answer this question before you consult the Tarot and then compare notes. 

Personally, I meet my needs by moving on after a while; I've moved countries, had numerous jobs in different disciplines (and I still do a variety of jobs today!), long-term relationships haven't worked for me so far, enjoy a variety of hobbies and interests, always want to learn something new, do something different, and even my taste buds have changed quite radically over the years.

eight of cups aquatic tarot
The pip cards relating to my zodiac card The Moon are the Eight, Nine and Ten of Cups. The Eight of Cups in particular highlights the way I meet my needs - letting go and moving on to seek new pleasures, which I enjoy for a while and then move on again. I suppose I get bored so easily... *sigh*

How can you increase your focus on growth and contribution? What are some things you can do, or new experiences you can participate in?

Many people tend to avoid focusing on growth, because it is often linked to loss, endings and pain. It can be easier to stick with what you know and what you're accustomed to, but it can leave you in a position of living your life on auto-pilot, compromising on integrity and not fulfilling your true potential. That's why so many people are stuck nowadays.

Although I have no problems participating in new experiences, I may actually need to turn them into growth, be more aware of lessons learned and apply them in order to stop drifting.

Using the Tarot for further guidance, you can either explore the pip cards of your zodiac card further, or you can draw a card from your deck.

queen of swords aquatic tarot
I have drawn the Queen of Swords as a random message and advice card.

The Queen of Swords is asking me to use my intellect rather than emotions when making decisions, value my independence more, use my perceptive skills to see more clearly rather than being too trusting, and getting straight to the point rather than trying to be diplomatic. I also need to get super clear on what I REALLY want, quite literally making a list of specifics rather than being vague.

The Queen of Swords is also asking me to contribute with knowledge, wisdom and fairness by using my teaching and organisational skills. I have already been doing this for many years not just in work but also in my personal and social life, but I know there is always more I can do, and more consciously, too.

Now over to you.

You can ask additional questions, such as

  • Which needs do you tend to neglect or avoid, and why?
  • What can you do to nurture those needs?

Exploring your core needs is particularly useful when important life choices have to be made, whilst experiencing major change and transition, and at times of stress and feeling overwhelmed.

Take your time when doing this work to gain more clarity on your true purpose, ambitions, goals and ultimately to know thyself.

Warmest wishes,


All Tarot images: Aquatic Tarot

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