There are 6 human needs that everyone on the planet possesses. One of these is the need to feel significant.
You may not immediately identify this need with that particular word, so we’ll break it down further. Do you want to feel important to someone in some way? Do you want to be needed? Then you want to feel significant.
Many of us want to find significant meaning in our lives, but aren’t entirely aware of it – or if we are, we aren’t sure how to do it. It boils down to a desire to be noticed, to be seen, to have others made aware of us. This desire to feel significant can manifest in positive and negative ways, depending on how much we understand about ourselves and why we do certain things.
What are your goals? By identifying what you really want out of life, you can start engaging in the behaviors that will get you closer to those goals. For example, maintaining a consistently high performance at work is one way to turn your desire for significance in your career into a positive thing. You gain the recognition you want and both you and your co-workers benefit. On the other hand, if your desire to be noticed leads you to pick fights with your co-workers over perceived slights, you will also gain recognition… for the wrong reason.
It’s not the need to feel noticed and important that’s the problem – it’s how you go about it. Recognize your need for significant meaning and acknowledge it. If you don’t, that’s when you start to run into problems, as ignoring or repressing that need will not alleviate your need for it. Instead, you will likely find yourself engaging in negative behaviors and activities – even reckless ones – in an effort to just be noticed.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to avert that kind of negativity and behavior. If you want to feel significant, put that want to work. What positive thing can you do to gain some recognition at work? Maybe you can turn in an outstanding brief or deliver a particularly moving article. Want more recognition in your family? Help a niece or nephew with a homework assignment. Let your spouse nap while you clean the kitchen.
By identifying what we ultimately want to accomplish and understanding what really is significant to us, we can start setting goals that will help us achieve our desires.
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Tony Robbins is a #1 New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. For more than 37 years, millions of people have enjoyed the warmth, humor and dynamic presentation of Mr. Robbins' corporate and personal development events. As the nation's #1 life and business strategist, he¹s called upon to consult and coach some of the world¹s finest athletes, entertainers, Fortune 500 CEOs, and even presidents of nations.