How to find your purpose by meeting your driving needs

People have six human needs that must be met to feel satisfied, which will help you to find your purpose. When these needs are not being met by constant fixtures in your life, such as your career or personal relationships, they leave you feeling despondent. This brings down your mental state and can often manifest itself into physical pain, as pain is a reflection of your mind indicating to you that there needs to be a change in your lifestyle. It is a sign that the life you are living is damaging to your body – and often your psyche, as well.

So, what are the six human needs?

The first four are the basic ones that every person will figure out how to meet in one way or another during their lifetime. They are certainty, variety, significance, and connection.

Certainty is the need to feel secure and in control of your life. Changes and surprises are often met with stress.

Variety is the need for surprise and variability that keeps your life fun and helps stave off the sense of boredom that often comes with a repetitive, predictable lifestyle.

Significance is the need to feel important and powerful in your life – whether that be working hard to gain recognition from your peers and superiors, or putting people down to make yourself feel metaphorically larger or more powerful than them.

Connection is the need to love and be loved, though this sometimes gets adapted into the need to form connections with others, if you have grown to fear the act of loving people.

The last two are much less often reached, and those are the spiritual needs – or, the ones that create a sense of fulfillment in life.

Growth is the need to progress in life. If you aren’t progressing or working towards a goal, you are stagnant – which leads to feelings of boredom and discontent. Progress elicits a feeling of happiness in you, since it often means that you have a sense of purpose and drive to achieve something. Ironically, achievement of those goals only provides a very temporary satisfaction, before you realize that you no longer have a strong goal to progress towards.

Contribution is the need to share experiences with others, since you can only feel so much pleasure yourself.

It is important to note that although everyone has these same needs, not every person values them equally. People have a primary and secondary need – driving needs –  that are prioritized above the others and act as your main driving force to give your life direction. These needs are so vital to your sense of happiness that you will give up your goals and values to meet them in any way that you can. Even if two people have the same driving needs, they are not always met in the same way. For example, one person may not feel that they are meeting their certainty need until they are wealthy enough to feel financially stable, while another person may feel secure enough in their life by simply having a roof over their head.

Most people meet their needs in a way that works in the moment, but not long-term – so their satisfaction and comfort is short-lived. Any time your mind perceives that doing something – whether positive or negative – meets at least three of your human needs, you’ll get addicted to doing it, as it causes you to feel intense satisfaction and fulfillment in your life.

If your needs are not being met, you will experience displeasure, loneliness, and a sense of purposelessness that can cause your spiritual state to worsen to the point where your body will be much less willing to want to heal itself from any physical ailments you may be experiencing. Your thoughts and your emotional state is vital to your road to recovery, because your body is much more likely to be inclined to heal itself when it feels like it has a need-driven goal to work towards. Changing your mindset to be more conscious of what your driving needs are and catering your lifestyle to fulfilling those needs will greatly improve both your physical and mental wellbeing and help you regain a sense of purpose for your life.