Why You Do What You Do

Why do people do what they do?

Why do they think the way they do?

Why do people overeat or overspend?

Why do people yearn for love or crave attention?

Everyone has a reason for doing what they do. They may not know what that reason is – at least not consciously. In fact, quite often people act and behave in ways that may seem irrational and inexplicable. Most people can give stories about why they do what they do. But no matter what country, socioeconomic status, race, religion or values, each story revolves around just six primary driving forces, which I call the 6 Satisfaction Needs.

The 6 Satisfaction Needs are fundamental to every single person. We all share these same needs. And if you want to understand yourself on a deeper, more meaningful level, then you must begin with understanding these needs. Because once you do, you will understand why you act and react in certain ways. And that awareness is a key step to making a pivotal shift in your life so that you can overcome obstacles and embrace opportunities to ultimately find absolute fulfillment.


The first need that we all have is purpose.

Purpose is God’s original intent of a person. It is the “why” a person was born. It answers the questions “who am I” and “why am I alive?” Every person has a need to know the answers to these questions. However, if you want to know the purpose of the thing, for example, don’t ask another thing, ask the one who made it. Likewise, if you want you want to know your purpose, ask the One who made you.

When seeking God for your purpose, meditate on scriptures. Then ask yourself questions that have nothing to do with your current career, job or relationships. Questions such as, “What makes happy” or “What makes me angry” and “Who am I really without my titles.” Honest answers will unlock clues to uncovering your purpose.


The second need is significance.

Most of have a desire to successful at something but we all have a need to feel our work is significant. We want our lives to matter. How do you become significant? There are two ways.

Significance demands diligence. Whatever you do, you should do energetically and enthusiastically, not only doing it well but also doing it heartily as if you life depends on it.

A person who is diligent about what he or she is doing gives the feeling of being responsible and willing to be held accountable for what he or she does. As a byproduct of diligence and significance, God blesses us with success. Success, money and fame is not the goal, but those things certainly can eventually follow.

The second way to become significant is be adding value to the world and the people who live in it. This can be through the words you speak, a product you create, a book you write or simply the example you set in your life. It is not a one-time event but a perpetual on-going part of your life that eventually change people’s lives.

By being diligent and adding value to your network, family, clients, friends, co-workers or groups, your life will be transformed from being a success to significance.


The third critical need is progress.

The master key to happiness is not money, celebrity or a good job. The key to happiness is progress and growth equals

If things in your life are not progressing, then it’s dying. Tony Robbins writes, “There is no such thing as a plateau, or a comfortable, even place. If your relationship is not growing, it is dying. If your business is not growing, it’s dying. Where do you stand? Take an honest assessment of your life and ask yourself where you are growing and how that makes you feel? What area in your life is dying? And how does that make you suffer?

To keeps things progressing, you must continue to make investments towards it. If you want to see progress in your relationships, income or business you must make significant contributions. Progress equals happiness.


The fourth need that we all have is certainty.

Uncertainty is mother of all fears. Certainty helps us to avoid potential pain and provide some level of comfort. Without certainty relationships suffer. Have you ever been uncertain about an important relationship, a job or your health? It can be a sickening feeling. When our certainty is threatened, it is difficult to think clearly.

Most people, there is nothing certain in this world. I disagree. You certainly can not control people but you certainly can control your daily disciplines which leads to results. Disciplines plus consistency equals certainly regardless of what is happening around you.


Variety is the necessary fuel to keep you going.

The issue with the first five needs is that it can be bore you. Being bored shuts down innovation and witty ideas needed to thrive. Variety, however, really is the spice of life. Create variety in professional life though attending networking events outside of your comfort zone. In your personal relationships be a consistent giver. Eventually, the good you give will come to you in a greater measure.


The final need is connection.

Some people confuse connection with attention. In attempt to connect, people find attention through sex, even when it’s meaningless. Some get it by being sick, because others will attend to them. Some get it by creating problems. For example, if you don’t give a child attention for anything good, he will do something bad to get that attention and see that you care. And adults do the same thing, but often in a more dramatic and more painful way. These are example of how we meet our need for connection.

The objective of our need to make meaningful is founded in our need to give and be loved. True love is rare but our need to connect continues to allow us to keep trying even when significant connections are broken. What about you, where and how are you making your honest connections?


So, if everyone has the same six foundational needs, why are we so different from one another?

First, we prioritize the six needs differently. Some value connection over significance. For others, their number one need for happiness could be progress. Whichever of the six becomes your number one will be the way you behave in many aspects in your life.

What’s at the top of your list? The human need at the top of your list determines your thoughts and your thoughts determine your direction, and your direction determines the final destination. If you can make empowering, positive shifts at this moment, then you can shift the entire direction of your life.

*Some concepts adapted from Tony Robbins International

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