By Gino Barbaro
Every human on the planet has six basic needs, and learning these six needs will guide you to leading a more fulfilling and rewarding life. In this article, I lay out the six needs, and how these needs, especially the final two, can lead to a happy and fulfilling life. The first four needs are considered the “fundamental” needs, and the vast majority of us can achieve these first four, but the last two are what we should strive for.
As humans, we function at a much higher level when we achieve a feeling of certainty. How would driving a car feel like if you were in constant anxiety of a tire blowing? Your thoughts would be preoccupied with imminent danger, and you would not be able to concentrate on the task at hand. In my life, I have achieved a level of certainty with my family life. I am certain that my wife, who is a stay at home mom, is with the children while I am off in the marketplace trying to “bring home the bacon”.
This level of certainty has allowed me to prosper and become successful in my endeavors. Without that certainty, my progress would have slowed down immensely. I would have thoughts of “What time do I have to feed the baby” or “Did I prepare lunch for the kids”. This certainty has also allowed my children to flourish in their environment. This sense of certainty alleviates stress and fear and contributes to our success.
People choose different types of behaviors to achieve certainty in their lives. Some people smoke, some consume alcohol, some overeat and some people choose prayer as their medium. The key is to find a way to meet certainty with empowering actions.
Now that we have obtained a level of certainty, what tends to creep into our lives? Boredom!! How ironic is it that we all strive for that level of certainty, but once we attain it, feelings of boredom begin to creep into our lives. We all need variety in our lives, something that will keep us on our toes. I fell into this trap with my business. At one point, the job became monotonous and I felt “stuck”. I had achieved a feeling of certainty, but now the juice was gone, and I felt as if I was just going through the motions.
We all strive for that feeling of significance, of feeling important and being unique. Some people feel significant by tearing others down, while others obtain significance by helping others. You can feel significant by being smarter than everyone else, by dressing differently, having more titles after your name, or by earning more money. We all choose our actions based on our beliefs to achieve significance. I even know friends who utilize spirituality to demonstrate their sense of worth.
While a person is trying to be unique, they still have a craving for connection. This is very common in famous people, such as actors and athletes. They have worked their entire lives to be unique and stand out in the crowd. Once they acquire this uniqueness, they all of a sudden can’t relate to people and lose that sense of connection. You wonder why famous people commit suicide. To us, it appears they have it all: fame, fortune, glory but in reality they have no one to share it with.
I created the Jake & Gino community to be able to connect with other like-minded individuals, and it has been truly a blessing. When I hit a lull, all I do is reach out and connect with community members to see what challenges they are facing, and also what successes they are achieving. That connection keeps me motivated to continue to pursue my goals, and to know there are others out there facing the same challenges as me.
Now this is where the fun starts. A person will not be happy or fulfilled unless he taps into these final two needs. A person who is not growing is dying. I was stuck in my comfort zone at work, and I felt as if I was dying. I was not learning any new skills, I was not contributing and I felt lost. Once I realized my unhappiness, I was able to create a plan on how to leave my business and start off on a new more empowering life. I always thought if I make enough money to retire, then I was going to be happy.
It doesn’t work that way. Countless businessmen and women cash out of their businesses, and retire from the rat race. They soon realize that retirement is not all that it’s cracked up to be. They become bored, and they miss that feeling of contribution and growth. So what do they do? They jump right back into the race. They are not in the game to chase the money; they’re in the game to be challenged and to create massive value for others. The old model of give to get is being replaced by seek to serve.
This last need drove me to the profession of coaching. A have an inner desire to help people and to contribute more. I want people to think, “The world would be a better place if there were more guys like Gino”.
We all have a need to contribute to society, whether it is to be a teacher, to volunteer, to become a successful businessperson, or any vocation that you aspire to. It explains to me why people who stay active after retirement live much longer and more productive lives. Once you stop growing, death begins to set in, your contribution will cease and everything will start to fall apart.
In conclusion, all pain comes from when one or more of our six needs are not met. We all have ways of meeting these needs. You can get certainty by controlling everyone, variety by doing drugs, significance by earning more, and connection through prayer. Learn how to be aware of your needs and take empowering actions to attain happiness.
Become aware of the actions you take to meet your six needs. Focus on the positive actions and think of ways for you to contribute and to grow.
Begin to surround yourself with others who will be role models for you to take those actions that will help you achieve the six human needs in an empowering way.