Do you love what you do? If not, do you feel significant doing it? How about growth and contribution? I talk about how I enjoy what I do because it fulfills all 6 of the human needs Anthony Robbins talks about.
When you can fulfill all of your human needs in your job, hobby, or relationship, you will have an incredibly fulfilling life.
Anthony Robbins talks about the 6 human needs. From his research and exploration of human behavior, he has come up with these needs that every person has in their life. They are Love and Connection, Certainty, Uncertainty or Variety, Significance, Growth, and Contribution. Tony says that we prioritize the ones we need most too. For example, someone might need more love and connection than variety. Someone else may need to feel significant more than the need to be a contributor.
(click the Play button above the photo for an audio version of this post)
I’m not going to get into the 6 needs in detail here, but I brought them up because that’s the reason I do what I do. Of the 6 human needs, I am able to fulfill all of them doing this show. I’ll go over how I benefit from them, but as I do, keep in mind your own needs. You may or may not have a show, but all activity involves action. And action involves needs. So here is my breakdown:
Love and Connection: I love being to help thousands of people at the click of a button. Sometimes my topic is relevant to your life, sometimes it isn’t. But I get love from you when you write to me, and I also get love when you just listen. I may not know you directly, but I know you’re listening. And I usually end each of these mini episodes telling you how good it was to connect with you, because for me, it was good. I feel so honored that you take time out of your day to connect with me too. And even better than that, you get to connect with yourself, which is one of the main goals of everything I do. The more you can connect with yourself, the faster you’ll learn, grow and heal.
Certainty: Every week, I have a similar format. It wasn’t always this way, but I’ve finally nailed down a format for the show that works both for me and for most of the listeners. This format is reliable. I can follow it and be certain that it works. But the first 30 episodes were a buildup to what you hear now. Well, maybe not on Minutes to Momentum, but on The Overwhelmed Brain. I knew as long as I continued to produce episodes that finally something would click. There would be that perfect resonance of listener enjoyment and episode format that I could finally solidify into a model that would work every time I used it. Whatever you do in life can be tweaked. And when you do the same thing over and over again, you’ll continually find a new way to do something, a faster way, a previously unforeseen way. You become an expert through repetitious actions, and you become more and more certain about what you’re doing.
That is, if you enjoy what you do. Those who enjoy what they’re doing pick things up faster, and learn their job or hobby easier than those who don’t enjoy what they do. If you don’t enjoy doing something, it’s almost like you block out wanting to learn new ways to do it, because you simply don’t want to invest any more time into what you’re doing. I know how this feels.
But having certainty that the format I’ve chosen works, it helps me create a more focused, more valuable show.
Uncertainty or Variety: Yes, not only do humans want certainty, but we also want uncertainty or variety. For me, I get to talk about any subject that I want, assuming it has some value for the listeners. And I also get to put into the show anything I want. I’m not restricted to my format, although I choose to be most of the time.
In the past, I used to start every episode of The Overwhelmed Brain with the episode number and short, comical skit. I didn’t do this just to show off or for ratings and reviews. I did this for two reasons. One, I wanted some creative expression somewhere in each episode. It was sort of a release for me. If I created a 30 second song parody or something similar, it helped me express and enjoy my creative side a little bit.
I know there some people who remember when I used to scatter stuff like that throughout each episode. That was a huge time consumer, and for the most part, I lost many listeners because of my creativity. Some people still wanted it, but many others didn’t. I had come to a realization that not everything in your brain has to be shown to the world, nor should it!
When I started podcasting, I was told it is important to be 100% authentic. I’m here to tell you that there’s a difference between authenticity and a brain dump.
Authenticity is honesty and follow through, and sticking to your word.
A Brain Dump is, “I just thought of something funny. I’m going to record it during the segment while I talk about highly sensitive things so that I can mix up the show a bit.”
I learned that when people trust you to take them to the depths of pain or hurt, that when you throw in a funny song or skit at that moment, it doesn’t always work. In fact, I experienced this first hand a couple of times. Once from a book I was reading, and another from an email list I belonged to. Both times, I had full faith and trust in the authors of the message. But both times I felt they took me too far into their cause and their own brain. That’s when I lost trust in them.
They held me by the hand up to that point, letting me know they were there for me. Then they led me to the door that revealed starving lions behind it causing me to feel like prey.
I’m exaggerating, of course, but I now know that being any kind of thought leader involves sensitivity to where people are at all times. Just because I made it through depression and am ready to sing a happy song, doesn’t mean someone else isn’t out there, trusting me, and holding my hand at the door.
My point is that for a while in that space, I added a lot of uncertainty to my show: Songs, humor, and other unnecessary things. Those were experimental days and some listeners felt like they were being fed to the lions. I didn’t know I was doing that until it happened to me.
Significance: My need for significance is fulfilled because I feel like what I do is significant. In fact, anything you do should give you some significance. I may even go out on a limb and say if you don’t feel significant in some way in any job, hobby or relationship, then it’s time to explore why you don’t. I mean, you may not at all and never will, in which case it’s really time to explore, but I believe it’s important to feel significant when you do the things you do.
Otherwise, I’ve heard from a lot of people that I am helping change their lives. I even heard from an ex-girlfriend recently who I haven’t talked to in 8 years. She found my show, sent me an email and said “Wow”. She only knew the person I was and had no idea that I not only went through a lot of personal growth, but I now have a show on it too.
It makes me feel significant knowing that I am reaching so many people, all at different levels in their own learning and growth, at their own stages in life. Some old friends, old lovers, and lots of new friends, just sharing with me how significant I am.
Think of the people in your life that find you significant. If you can only think of one, I would find that hard to believe. But, it’s possible. The less people we interact with, the less people there will be that notice us. I hate to say that, but it’s mostly true. I say mostly because a scientist can work alone in her lab and discover a cure for something that affects millions. And those millions would find her very significant. She may not meet many, or any of those people. But she is extremely significant.
That’s why I believe that even if you sit at home alone, watching TV most of the time, and never get out, you’re still paying someone’s salary by paying for cable and electricity. And I know that’s a stretch, but I also know the more people you know, the more significant you will feel. With the internet and meetups and online groups, we can connect with so many people nowadays.
And if you’re one of those people who says you can’t think of one person who finds you significant, I have one thing to say about that: “Don’t I count?”
Growth: Ever since I started this show, that’s all I’ve been doing. After all, imagine you have all these questions in your life. And for years and years, all you want are the answers to those questions. Well, whenever I had questions, I sought authors and speakers and people who knew more than I did on certain subjects. And soon, I was learning and growing, and experiencing some major shifts inside. This led to some major life decisions and changes, which brought me to New Hampshire from Oregon. I have learned and grown so much in the last 7 months, it’s unbelievable.
Sometimes you believe you are absolutely ready for something. Then, you start doing it, and it surprises you around every corner. That’s what this show has done for me. After so many interviews, I was starting to get it. Many of the mysteries in life, at least the ones that mattered most to me, were getting solved. I was finding clarity. Plus, in order to teach something, you have to know it well. So when I wanted to teach something new, something that even I may have been not as familiar with as I could have been, I did a lot of research.
This made me more knowledgeable in many subjects, to the point where I feel comfortable speaking about most personal growth challenges now. When you have to teach something to someone else, you will learn to learn what you need to teach. In other words, you have no choice but to become an expert, because learning how to teach someone any subject forces you to approach the subject differently.
Think of something you know that, if you had to teach someone, could you do it easily? I know how to play classical guitar, but I couldn’t teach someone how to play it, unless I approached what I know differently. I could point to a note on a music score, and tell the person that this string represents that note, but there’s so much more involved than that. All that extra stuff that’s buried in my unconscious mind. I’d have to learn it differently so that I could teach it.
If you learn something so well that you could teach it, then you become an expert. This is not the only way to grow of course, but it’s what’s happened to me because of this show.
Contribution: There are so many ways to contribute in the world. I contribute by giving all I can when I create this show. When you find something that allows you to feel like you are contributing, whether it’s for a cause or for one person, you feel significant. You feel love and connection. You feel like you are growing. And you get certainty from knowing you’re giving value, and you get uncertainty because you never know what doors will open because of it.
Of all the needs, contribution has benefited me most. I believe in giving ten times more than I receive, because it comes back in so many other ways. So if you really want or need any of these things, find a way to contribute, and the rest will fall into place.
What value can you bring into the world today? When you can bring value into the world, when you can contribute, all your other needs will just fall into place.