What are the 6 Human Needs

The 6 Human Needs is a philosophy by Tony Robbins. It defines how human beings are essentially wired and how we all find a way to meet these which can be in a positive or negative way.


The 1st human need is for certainty, every person needs to feel safe, avoid pain feel comfortable in their surroundings and relationships.

Code Words:
Security, safety, stability, predictability, protection, comfort

How certainty is determined, varies from person to person


The 2nd human need is uncertainty. A person caught in the same routine will seek change and variety that will challenge and exercise our physical and emotional range.

The quality of your life is in direct proportion to amount of uncertainty you can live with

Code Words:
Fear, instability, change, chaos, conflict, crisis, entertainment and surprise


The 3rd human need is for significance, every human being needs to feel needed, important or wanted.
Significance occurs when we compare ourselves to others which leads to questioning our inferiority or superiority.

We feel significance through achievement or something we have succeeded at or we can seek significance by tearing down something or someone.

The positive intention of significance leads us to raise our standards but too much focus leads to problems with connecting with others and focuses on differences instead in commonalities.

A person who identifies their top two human needs as connection / love and significance will often have an internal conflict.

For most people significance gives a sense meaning, purpose and contribution.

Code Words:
Pride, standards, performance, perfection, achievement, evaluation, competition, performance, discipline, rejection

Connection / Love

The 4th human need is for connection and love

Every human being needs connection with other human beings and strives for love. The need to be loved is characteristic of all human beings. Some people rarely experience love but find alternative ways to feel connected

Code Words:
togetherness, passion, unity, warmth, tenderness and desire


The 5th human need is for growth. We need to continually grow intellectually, emotionally and spiritually and this is enhanced with everything that we experience during our lives. When we stop experiencing growth in these areas we are effectively dying.

Examples of growth can be working out or learning


The 6th human need is contribution, the need to go beyond ourselves and give to others. Contribution can give a sense of purpose, leaving the world in a better place then we found it, touching the lives of others. Contribution is essential to feeling fulfilled

Key Takeaways

  • The first 4 human needs are essential for human survival
  • The last 2 human needs are essential to human fulfilment and are the needs of the spirit but not everyone finds a way to meet them.
  • When we focus on something beyond ourselves we meet most of our needs
  • Contribution is the human need that regulates the other 5 needs


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
A Theory of Human Motivation