13 Jul Meet your individual needs with growth and contribution
There are six needs that you must aim to fulfil in life in order to feel in flow and be content. The previous two blog articles discuss the first two sets of needs that are in actual fact, paradoxes.
The final two essential human needs, which complete the six, can be defined as needs of your spirit rather than needs of your personality. This is because they are concerned more with the fulfilment of your life and not just the essentials needed to exist (to live and breathe and function). These two needs give you a reason to live and a desire to give back.
Need 5: GROWTH
You may find it hard to believe if you can’t stand being at school or hate the subjects you’re studying, but you have a built-in need to LEARN. Honestly.
Definition: “An expansion of capacity, capability or understanding.”
Forget school or college for a moment and think about what excites you. What’s your CURIOSITY? You choose specific book topics to read, movies to watch, music or podcasts to listen to, games to play or websites and interest groups to review. You choose them because the theme or activity excites you and you want to know more. You want to immerse yourself in the nitty gritty of it all and soak up every last detail!
This is how you grow as a person, gain new knowledge, improve skills and develop interest. If you didn’t learn new concepts and develop new ideas to expand your knowledge and progress in life, what would happen? You’d wilt away to nothing that’s what! Plus it wouldn’t matter how many friends you have, how good your grades are or how much money you earn, if you don’t enjoy life and live it to your max. Legally I must add!
The growth of a relationship, a career, a business, your knowledge, your thirst for adventure and experience has to be met. In order for your mind to grow you must stretch yourself by learning and growing constantly. Every day is an education day even after you finish compulsory education!
Try this exercise out for size. What was the last thing that you did or learned that you truly enjoyed?
- What gave you that buzz?
- Can you think of a reason why?
- When did you do something to help someone else, a cause or a group?
- How did it make you feel?
- Why did you choose to do it?
Make a note of your thoughts and aim to do more of the things that make you feel great. Alongside your need to grow, you also have a need to ‘contribute’.
Need 6: CONTRIBUTION
Contributing is to do something that isn’t always for your own personal or best interest. Contributing is when you give something away, in time, money, effort or skills. This could be volunteering at the local dog rescue centre, helping the elderly with house chores or donating a monthly amount to your favourite charity.
Definition: “A sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others.”
Contribution is your way of giving something back, of spreading an act of kindness and of feeling content about a good deed.
This concept of contribution is important when you want to influence the people around you. If you say or do positive things, if you listen and appreciate the thoughts and needs of friends and family (and acquaintances) then they will feel valued. This is also a valid way to meet some of your own needs. The difference though, is rather than you simply meeting a need you are filling the other person’s needs as well as your own needs to the point that they are overflowing. Hoorah!
You are living life to the full and the needs of growth and contribution are serving you well. High five to you!
Can you think of a time recently when you went out of your way to help someone? Maybe it was another person – a stranger, a sibling, a friend, a family member – an animal in need, or perhaps a charitable campaign or community cause.
- What elements attracted you to help?
- Who was involved?
- How did you help?
- Did you give away your time, skills or money, or did you just listen?
- What was the outcome?
- What opportunities did this lead to for you?
- Have you done this more than once?
It feels good to grow and contribute, but you can only achieve this effectively if the other four needs of your personality are in balance first.
You cannot give away too much or take too much without it upsetting the balance. Too much of one can cause upset, emotional turmoil and affect how you enjoy life.
Between now and next week I want to challenge you do a little research and find a new area of interest that you would like to learn more about. This could be an outdoor activity, a short online course or a local social group that meets weekly. In addition, find a way that you can contribute to a local community group, charity or just some way of giving something back without wanting anything in exchange. This could be as simple as helping a younger sibling with their homework. Journal what you do and how it makes you feel. I’m sure it’ll be very rewarding.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” Harvey Fierstein
Choose the life you want to lead
The important lesson to take from understanding the six essential human needs is that positive and negative behaviours are created to fulfil the needs. Negative behaviours can arise from your needs not being met in a positive way. It happens and it’s OK as long as you are able to recognise why this happens and are able to alter your behaviours.
Please share the outcome from giving the blog exercises a go. Have you spotted any bad habits or developed any good habits? What works best for you? It could work well for others – let us know what you think on social media.
Have a wonderful week and remember to stay balanced and meet your needs in a positive way. You can do it.