Having discussed Tony Robbins "Personality Needs" in HEXAREQUISITE, its time to address the last two, what he calls Needs of the Spirit. I don't put much stock into that voodoo that you do and I roll my eyes at the new age passivity of the public face of peace. I marvel openly at those who practice both individual spirituality and organizational religion - as well at those who do not, and I giggle to myself when anyone attempts to instruct me on their polar vies of politics much as an armchair quarterback confidently critiques a televised billion-dollar glamour industry play in four-quarters. I am gentle with my children when they need me to be and hard on them when required. Knowing that many different people do many different things for many different reasons isn't enough. Knowing why unlocks compassion. The "golden-rule" is flawed, but its a fantastic starting point. Sociology isn't in the knowing that cultures differs, its in endeavoring to know why. Only through knowledge can we begin to understand not only ourselves, but others - and this solves a whole host of both existing, and potential problems.
NEEDS OF THE SPIRIT - unlike personality needs, which we all find a way to fulfill in one form or another, while essential to human fulfillment, not everyone finds a a way to satisfy these, although they are necessary for lasting fulfillment:
The first one is growth, which is one of the most powerful needs. Simply said, if you are not growing you are dying. Unused muscles and neurons, atrophy; unused knowledge and skills, forgotten. If you help others to be fulfilled, you will be fulfilled. Friedman (2005) observes:
“When you have a pathway to be The Man or The Woman, you tend to focus on the path and on achieving your dreams. When you have no pathway, you tend to focus on your wrath and on nursing your memories.”
Yet, it is also true that with reflection — the analytical examination of our memories, we can choose the right pathway to fulfilling our dreams, otherwise we could only be repeating the same mistakes we made, never really learning the lessons we ought to have learned. Problems, adversities and challenges make us grow strong, but it is the decisions we make that are the bedrock of our own individuality. It makes us, who we are!*
Robbins’ second primary need is the need for contribution. Often, we will do more for other people than what we will do for ourselves. To meet this need on a higher level we need to be willing to consistently give to others that which you wish to receive. A possible rewording of The Golden Rule: do unto others what you like others do unto you? Thus, to have a rewarding life, we need to go from being “culturally successful”, to being fulfilled. To help others when and while we can is even more rewarding than helping ourselves to fulfill own desires, wishes and dreams while trampling the humanity of others.*
When our needs for love, growth and contribution are satisfied, they tend to encompass all our other needs. When we focus on something beyond ourselves, most of our problems and sources of pain become less significant. Contribution is the human need that effectively regulates your other five needs - If you are focused on contributing to others, you have the certainty of being able to contribute (there is always a way); you have variety (contribution is highly interactive); you have significance because you know you are helping others and improving their lives; the spiritual bond created when you help others gives you a deep sense of connection; and you grow by creatively helping others.*
It would seem that while the entire population of the earth is understandably at different levels of needs, in order to have a fulfilling, intimate relationship with someone - mutual understanding - it is imperative that the parties involved understand and acknowledge their own levels of need. Someone who's priorities are meeting personality needs will be unable to reach intimacy with someone who's goals are fulfilling needs of the spirit. Not necessarily incompatible, but as we learned about personal values this is reflected in behavior and when individuals engaged in relationships are striving for dissimilar needs, obvious conflict would deny each party fulfillment of their own needs and render them unable to meet the needs of the other.
This is not wrong, simply problematic. Seek relationships with those who's needs mirror your own, otherwise fulfillment - a rewarding life - will never be met. This is not to say that we need to strive to find people who believe everything we do and only agree with our beliefs, rather finding people who have a desire to pursue growth and contribution no matter ideologies over the pursuit of tangible goods or self-serving personality needs.
As Tony Robbins himself infers, not everyone will ascend to fulfillment because "People at the lower levels of moral reasoning tend to come up with simplistic solutions. When these solutions don't work or backfire, they become baffled.* Given that intimate relationships are based on the mutual cooperation and understanding to equally fulfill all needs of self and all needs of others, someone in a "mixed" relationship who pursues personality needs may be incapable of balancing their own needs along with the needs of others, one of the earmarks of post-conventional values.
It is very hard to get to this level if a persons values the other human needs before contribution. Again paradoxically the easiest way to fulfill all the human needs in a positive way is to focus on the needs of the spirit first. By valuing these needs the highest you will experience love because you will be in a state of love...which will elicit the experience of love for others. There will be great variety as this is what is required of growth and you will feel significant because you are contributing, having a positive influence on those around you.*
It all comes back to intrinsic motivation. Those of us who eschew material pursuits do so because we do not require them to make us happy - our happiness comes from who we are and out ability to positively illicit conflict resolution through a genuine understanding of ourselves, our needs, and understanding and meeting the needs of others - though I cannot resolve meeting the needs of those who's primary goal is solely having either their needs met (pre-conventional values) or only meeting my needs (conventional values). It conflicts with the symmetry and balance of post-conventional values.
If a person doesn’t value growth highly enough then the motivation won’t be there to go through the necessary challenges that come along with the journey in the new direction. When a person refuses to meet the challenges of life they develop what are called safe problems. These are lingering issues that lie within a persons control to change...They are called safe because they stop having to deal with the quality problems that require growth.
The reason why growth is often experienced as painful is because it flushes up all the old conditioning from childhood that is buried in the subconscious. This is exactly why growth is so important for a happy life because by flushing up these old, outdated patterns and beliefs they can be cleared from the mind which allows the life energy to flow freer within a persons energy system. Having access to the energy of life puts a person in a different state, a state where problems are challenges which can be solved easily and creatively.*
In revisiting why defining values is so very important, I turned to Steve Pavlina's dissertation where he explains, "The ultimate goal of living your values is to eventually bring them into alignment with universal principles. As you experience living with different sets of values, you'll learn what's truly important to you. Your values are your current estimations of truth. They represent your answer to the question of how to live. Some sets of values will fail to produce the results you want. They may leave you feeling restless and unfulfilled. Other sets of values bring you closer to a feeling of congruence. When you act with integrity to values that are themselves aligned with universal principles, you get the best possible results."
Who EVER wants to settle for "restless and unfulfilled?" We all strive for "the best possible results." To that end I took a second look at his list of 413 values and attempted to craft my own personalized prioritization of values:
For me, these feed into each other, and through them I will gain accesses into other equally important endeavors, such as the welfare of my children. In my mind, I would be unable to focus effectively upon their welfare without first employing the above five. Ensuring their needs were met without also meeting my own would be doing them a disservice. Open-mindedness is required to absorb knowledge, knowledge assists in balance (symmetry) through which I discover by way of my insatiable curiosity: Transcendence, the ability to overcome these human trappings and become more than I am - to instruct my children in the very tangible lessons of happiness and positivity through personal development.
- improving self-awareness
- improving self-knowledge
- building or renewing identity
- developing strengths or talents
- improving wealth
- spiritual development
- identifying or improving potential
- building employability or human capital
- enhancing lifestyle or the quality of life
- improving health
- fulfilling aspirations
- initiating a life enterprise or personal autonomy
- defining and executing personal development plans
- improving social abilities
What is in your list? Perhaps more importantly, why? Are you waiting for it to happen to you, or are you fighting for it - joyously seeking it every moment of every day?
Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human. ~Tony Robbins*