There are six human needs – fundamental drives within each of us – that compel us forward in an quest to experience a life of meaning. There is no conscious effort necessary, our will to satisfy these fundamental needs is automatic. The first 4 are the primal needs, the other 2 the spiritual needs. Usually one or 2 needs are dominant und a human being feels unwell if they are not satisfied.
- Certainty – Everybody wants stability about their basic necessities – food, shelter, and other material resources. When people cannot control their physical circumstances, they may seek certainty through a state of mind (such as religious faith or a positive outlook.
- Uncertainty/Variety – People have a need to change their state, to exercise their bodies and emotions. Therefore they seek variety through a number of means – stimuli, change of scene, physical activity, mood swings, entertainment, food etc.
- Significance – Everybody needs to feel special and important in some way. People will seek significance through obtaining recognition from others or from themselves. When people feel insignificant, they make themselves feel significant by getting angry. They also meet their needs paradoxically, by having others recognize the significance of their insignificance or the size and complexity of their problems. It is important to remember that for many, helplessness is power.
- Love/Connection – Humans need to feel connected with someone or something – a person, an ideal, a value, a habit, or a sense of identity. Connection may take the form of love, or merely of intense engagement – for instance, one can feel connected by means of an aggressive interaction..
- Growth – Everything in the universe is either growing or dying – there is no third alternative. People are not spiritually satisfied unless their capacities are expanding.
- Contribution – Just as people cannot survive without others contributing in some way to their welfare (no baby grew up on its own), they cannot be spiritually fulfilled unless they are contributing to others as well.