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Tony Robbins' 6 Human Needs | How To Align Your Money With Your Needs

April 18, 202417 min read

This article is a written adaptation of the video available on my YouTube channel LIFE180.

Tony Robbins posits that human beings have six fundamental needs. In this article, we delve into these six basic needs and explore how you can utilize your finances to consistently meet them, thereby paving the way for a more fulfilled life.

This topic has been on my mind constantly, serving as a profound source of inspiration. It's a revelation I experienced long ago, which solidified my belief in whole life insurance. Recently, a conversation I had with someone sparked the idea for this article, further fueling my passion for the subject.

In fact, I'm going to link the conversation here because it was an interview I conducted with a gentleman named Michael Isom. It was an incredibly insightful discussion that prompted deep reflection on this topic. I realized its significance and felt compelled to create an article about it.

I'll be exploring the six fundamental needs of human beings and how they intersect with financial decisions. By reverse-engineering this discussion, it becomes clear why whole life insurance is a compelling choice. We'll delve into its role in meeting your needs and objectives, aligning it with your wants and priorities.

These 6 needs apply to everyone - both personally and professionally

Before delving into the individual needs, it's crucial to understand that while every person possesses all six basic needs to some extent, their relevance, importance, and prioritization vary from one individual to another.

Factors such as personality, lifestyle, relationships, and even the distinction between personal and professional spheres can influence this prioritization. However, it's essential to recognize that everyone experiences these needs.

Understanding your own needs and their prioritization, both in your personal and professional life, can profoundly impact your decision-making and overall approach to life.

Tony Robbins First Basic Need - Certainty

Let's begin with the first basic need: certainty. As Tony Robbins explains, every individual shares this need for security and predictability in some form. We all seek assurance and stability in our futures to varying degrees.

So, how does this relate to money? In my LIFE180 Pyramid discussions, I often emphasize the significance of prioritizing financial structure over assets. This focus on establishing a solid financial foundation is key to achieving long-term financial success.

Warren Buffett frequently emphasizes the importance of having a sufficient amount of safe, liquid, and accessible capital before diving into investments. He asserts that without this financial cushion, one isn't truly investing but rather speculating.

Having the right financial structure is paramount. Even if you're an investor with a high net worth, lacking a solid financial foundation means you may lack security and certainty about your future.

What I find compelling about whole life insurance in addressing this first basic human need is its ability to offer certainty and security for the future when utilized as a savings account alternative, rather than solely as an investment.

There's no other asset that can provide the same level of assurance and stability as whole life insurance does in this regard. So, in essence, it fulfills the need for certainty in a unique and unparalleled way.

Tony Robbins Second Basic Need - Uncertainty & Variety

Consider this: we all possess a need for variety and the desire to explore new experiences. However, how we manage and understand this need for uncertainty is crucial. In relationships, such as marriage, it becomes particularly important. Finding ways to introduce variety within the confines of the relationship is essential to maintaining its vitality and satisfaction.

As an entrepreneur, the need for variety often manifests as the desire to start new businesses, embark on new ventures, and undertake fresh projects. When channeled effectively, this drive can be incredibly powerful, satisfying the need for variety and contributing to personal and professional growth.

However, if not managed properly, this need for variety can also pose significant challenges and hinder the progress and momentum of a business. Many entrepreneurs grapple with what's often referred to as “shiny object syndrome,” where the pursuit of new opportunities becomes a distraction, potentially leading to setbacks and loss of focus.

From my perspective, the need for variety is inherent and seeking it out is a healthy pursuit. When considering variety and uncertainty in investments, the phrase “save to invest and save with the intent of investing” comes to mind. It underscores the importance of building a financial foundation before venturing into investments, while also acknowledging the value of embracing uncertainty as part of the investment journey.

Maintaining a level of uncertainty about the future is essential; it keeps us motivated to pursue ambitious goals. While we may take bold swings in real estate or business ventures, it's crucial to only invest in areas we understand and where we can exert some level of control over the outcome. This aligns with the concept of investing in our unique abilities and areas of expertise.

This is why I strongly advocate for leveraging whole life insurance as a foundational asset in our lives. It provides a sense of control and serves as a catalyst for personal growth and development.

Let's talk about uncertainty. One of the most significant risks and common mistakes I've observed is people taking on excessive risk too hastily.

When we prioritize building our financial foundation from the ground up, addressing both the need for certainty and the need for variety, it lays a solid groundwork for financial success. I discuss this concept in detail in the LIFE180 Pyramid, which I'll link here for reference.

The significance of establishing a strong financial structure from the ground up cannot be overstated. With a foundation of certainty in place, we can approach investments as investors rather than speculators. This empowers us to pursue variety in a healthy manner, knowing that we have the security and stability provided by our financial foundation.

Having this foundation allows you to show up more powerfully when you make investment decisions, whether it's in a business, real estate, or any other venture. You'll be able to bring forth the most potent version of yourself.

Once again, there's no other asset that offers the unique combination of creating certainty while also providing flexibility for variety within a single investment. This is precisely why my colleague Caleb Williams authored the book, “The And Asset.” It emphasizes that it's not an either-or conversation.

By establishing security within the whole life policy, you have the freedom to pursue variety and uncertainty outside of the policy. The policy itself serves as a secure foundation, allowing you to leverage opportunities and grow, without taking on risk within the policy. It enables you to become the person you need to be to generate returns outside of the policy.

That's why I often say, who benefits most from Whole Life Insurance? Primarily, it's real estate investors and entrepreneurs. Of course, it's beneficial for everyone, but my passion lies in working with entrepreneurs and real estate investors.

Tony Robbins Third Basic Need - Significance

The concept of significance varies greatly from person to person and across different aspects of our lives. How we fulfill our need for significance differs based on our roles and relationships.

For instance, my significance within my family, marriage, and community may manifest differently than in my children's lives. They prioritize my presence and engagement over external achievements.

Similarly, my wife values different aspects of significance in our relationship. In my professional life, the pursuit of significance takes on a unique form. Moreover, the intensity of our need for significance can vary from person to person.

Everyone possesses a drive for significance, albeit in varying degrees and expressions. One aspect I admire about whole life insurance is its potential to enable us to achieve significance in multiple facets of our lives. I often discuss it in terms of variety, where variety equals opportunity. Being adequately prepared, having savings, and following the right approach and order all contribute to maximizing these opportunities.

As Nelson Nash often emphasized, when you structure your policies correctly, opportunities have a way of finding you. Viewing it through this lens, we can anticipate an elevation in significance. With increased opportunities coming your way, people will seek you out for investments and collaborations.

You'll never find yourself lacking in opportunities to pursue, which will enhance your professional significance and expand your role as a major player in your field. This continuous cycle of opportunity will fuel your sense of significance.

On the other side of the coin, we have the insurance component of whole life insurance, which allows us to leave a legacy of significance. Recently, I had a conversation with Scott Donnell, the founder of Gravy Stack, a fantastic app. You can check out the interview here.

Once again, I had an incredible conversation with Scott Donnell about the significance of parenting and raising children. We discussed the importance of focusing on heritage rather than just inheritance. While we often discuss life insurance and financial matters, it's equally important to consider what we're instilling in our children beyond material possessions.

Scott articulated that point with remarkable clarity. When we consider it from this perspective, whole life insurance, when structured properly, not only prepares us for opportunities but also enhances our personal significance drive.

On one hand, it enables us to make a significant impact within our families, fostering security and leaving a meaningful legacy. On the other hand, it provides the flexibility to embrace uncertainty and pursue new opportunities.

Tony Robbins Fourth Basic Need - Love & Connection

The fourth basic need identified by Tony Robbins is connection and love. Personally, I strongly believe that our approach to managing money and structuring our finances should not solely revolve around chasing wealth, but rather aim to create a fulfilling lifestyle.

When we aim to create a specific lifestyle rather than simply chasing money and freedom, our goal becomes centered around achieving time freedom. This allows us to show up in our lives as the most powerful versions of ourselves. That's why I wrote my book Cashflow Hacking, to emphasize the importance of channeling our energy into areas we're passionate about. By doing so, we not only experience greater connection and love but also enrich our lives in profound ways.

In my conversation with Michael Isom, he emphasized the concept of human life value and its significance. Our connection with others is indeed our true currency. I wholeheartedly believe in this notion, that our ability to connect with people is the essence of human life value.

Having a clear understanding of your human life value, which revolves around relationships rather than dollars and cents, is crucial. When you operate from a place of clarity about your worth and focus on adding value to others, financial concerns become secondary. The balance sheet simply becomes a scoreboard for gauging the impact of your human life value.

Tony Robbins Fifth Basic Need - Growth & Expansion

This aspect of the concept is perhaps my favorite, and it's why I'm so passionate about whole life insurance. Consider this: you may not currently be the person you need to be to achieve your desired future. And that's perfectly okay. I often emphasize this point: your current position in life is a reflection of who you are. This holds true for each one of us.

One of the driving forces behind starting LIFE180 is my belief that your financial decisions should reflect your values and beliefs. Unfortunately, many people find themselves living in a manner where their money is not aligned with their core values, resulting in a sense of incongruence.

This lack of alignment between financial decisions and personal values is at the root of many problems stemming from financial illiteracy. The prevalence of a “microwave mindset,” where people prioritize instant gratification over long-term planning, often stems from a subconscious belief that future success is unattainable.

Without a clear understanding of why they want to achieve their goals and how it aligns with their fundamental human needs, individuals struggle to focus on personal growth and fail to recognize the importance of becoming the person they need to be to reach their desired destination.

When we discuss LIFE180, living intentionally for excellence, it's essential to start with a clear vision of our desired endpoint and then reverse engineer a plan to achieve it. Consider this: Is your financial strategy and investment approach designed in a manner that compels you to grow and evolve into the person you aspire to be, enabling you to live the life you desire?

If the answer is no, then your financial strategy may not be the right fit for you, regardless of what specific actions you're taking. This is precisely why we do what we do, to ensure that individuals have a financial strategy that aligns with their goals and facilitates personal growth.

The concept of growth, centered around building financial structure from the ground up, is crucial. Whether you're starting from scratch or already have some assets, prioritizing structure before diving into investments will yield several benefits.

First and foremost, it will prioritize your personal growth, fostering learning, execution, and self-discipline. These factors are essential for building a strong foundation.

The beauty of this approach is that it saves you from many mistakes and hardships. By focusing on personal growth and building financial structure, you'll be better prepared to make decisions when it comes to taking risks, such as investing in real estate, businesses, or other assets. Your growth during the saving and structuring process will enable you to make better decisions and execute them more effectively.

This approach ultimately reduces your risk and increases your returns. That's why I always emphasize to people the importance of being willing to take it slow in order to go fast. It's about saving first, but with the intention of investing. You have to be patient and willing to put in the time.

Personally, I prefer taking less risk and earning a steady 4% over a period of five, six, or seven years. Then, in that seventh year, making a significant leap, perhaps even 100%, with less risk in an area where I have control over the results. This is far preferable to chasing 10 to 12% returns in volatile markets where I have little understanding or control over what I'm doing.

Many individuals may feel a sense of reassurance, but in reality, they're still speculators, not investors. Without a solid understanding of securing their future and ensuring certainty, their six basic needs remain unbalanced.

When this balance isn't achieved and there's a lack of focus on building a strong foundation, aligning finances with values and beliefs, and prioritizing growth, it sets the stage for potential failure.

Tony Robbins Sixth Basic Need - Contribution

The final need, contribution, is crucial. Whole life insurance empowers individuals to contribute in diverse ways.

Whole life insurance facilitates contributions in various aspects of life. It enables individuals to contribute to their family legacy, support their family, give back to their community, invest in themselves, and show up as the most empowered version of themselves.

What better way is there to fulfill your purpose and make the greatest contribution to the world than by aligning yourself in a way that enables you to show up as the best version of yourself? I would challenge anyone to argue against the idea that each of us possesses a unique ability, a special purpose bestowed upon us by a higher power. With this gift comes the responsibility to execute on it, leveraging our resources, including our money, to fulfill our divine calling.

It's evident to me that many people are grappling with financial challenges, primarily because their money isn't aligned with their values and beliefs. Instead of leveraging money as a tool to elevate themselves and become the best version of themselves, they're struggling to make their greatest contribution.

Implementing a whole life insurance policy as the foundation of your financial strategy offers numerous benefits. It provides security for the future, enables you to seize opportunities amidst uncertainty and variety, and fosters a sense of significance as you lead a meaningful life, making a positive impact on others.

As you make a meaningful impact and create significance in the lives of others, you'll experience deeper connections and more love. Whether it's with people in your community, your professional network, or your family, you'll feel a profound sense of fulfillment knowing that you're contributing to something greater. This asset, which I often refer to as a self-completing plan, not only secures your future but also enriches your present with purpose and connection.

It's important not to underestimate or overlook the significance of being able to execute a plan where your desired outcomes are achieved, whether you're there to witness them or not. This aspect should not be taken lightly. Having a whole life insurance component, in addition to your savings, provides leverage to pursue risks, embrace variety, and seize opportunities, ultimately enabling you to realize your goals and aspirations.

It serves as a crucial backstop, ensuring that your loved ones, community, charitable organizations, business partners, and everyone else you care about are taken care of. This enables you to make the impact you desire and leave a lasting significance on this earth. Knowing that you're fulfilling your responsibilities and making a positive difference fosters deeper connections and love. Simultaneously, you experience personal progress and growth.

I won't claim it's easy or straightforward; there are bound to be challenges and fluctuations along the way. However, experiencing growth and progress, and knowing that you're striving towards something significant, serves as one of the most powerful motivators in life. Personally, I'm deeply committed to growth, and it's a core value my wife and I have instilled in our family. I believe wholeheartedly in its transformative power.

In the end, I strongly believe that we all have a responsibility to contribute to this world and leave it in a better state than we found it. While none of us are perfect in this endeavor, and the journey is far from linear, whole life insurance provides us with a tool to be intentional and specific about our contributions. It offers opportunities and opens doors that enable us to make a meaningful difference.

As I mentioned, there's no other asset in the world that can fulfill all these needs and empower you to become the person you need to be to achieve your desired life. If we could take a step back and shift our focus away from solely worrying about financial figures, investments, and products, and instead consider the holistic benefits like those offered by whole life insurance, we might find a more fulfilling path forward.

If everyone shifted their focus away from the technical aspects of investing, like which accounts to choose, rates of return, and other financial intricacies, and instead centered their attention on these fundamental human needs, their desired contributions, and the impact they wish to leave, we could revolutionize our approach to finance.

By assessing how well these needs are being met and aligning our financial decisions with our values, beliefs, and needs, we could pave the way for a more purpose-driven and fulfilling financial journey.

What I strongly believe, and one of the reasons why I advocate for whole life insurance, is that it's not about pushing a product. Instead, people naturally gravitate towards it when they have clarity about their goals and aspirations. I hope that perspective resonates with you.

I hope you found value in this article. If you did, I'd greatly appreciate it if you could share, like, and engage with it. This message is incredibly important to me, and I believe it has the potential to make a meaningful impact. Thank you for your support!

Until the next time, have a blessed, inspirational day.

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Today you need to be more savvy than ever if you try to go at it alone.

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Hint: it's not stocks or mutual funds (and's not crypto) How much sense does it make for you to work hard, save money, reduce your current lifestyle (because that's what you are doing when you save for the future - taking money you could use on lifestyle today and delaying gratification to a future unknown time), and hope that whatever you are doing will work three to four decades from now? If you're thinking, "not much sense at all…", you are in the right place.

With over 50 years of experience on our team, we have worked with thousands of individuals and families to achieve financial freedom faster and with more predictability by helping them invest for Cash Flow.

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