On why we do what we do

I was listening to a TEDTalk today …when I should have been numbing my creative urge with the checking of “To Do List” boxes….

…but I was listening, and watching, and asking the question : Why do we do the things that we do?

According to Tony Robbins there are six basic needs that we, as beings, seek to have met or meet ourselves:

  1. certainty : the need to feel sure about some things
  2. uncertainty : the need to be surprised by some things (even if we don’t like the surprise)
  3. significance : the need to feel that we are special
  4. love : need to love and feel loved
  5. the ability to grow
  6. the opportunity to contribute beyond ourselves

The need instinctively valued highest, shapes the unique path of a life.

The last was the most interesting – do we instinctively need to contribute to something bigger than our immediate life? Why this need? Does it have roots in our ancestry and instinct for self-preservation where the tribe was a  pre-requisite to survival?

Why, in 2014, when the contribution to community has been severed from imminent survival, do we sense a positive emotional response that encourages contribution to something beyond ourselves?




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