Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How Babies and Adults Make Decisions

If you are a parent, grandparent, sibling, babysitter, nanny, or anyone that has been around a baby for more than a few seconds I am sure there have been a few moments when you said to yourself, 

"Okay baby, I would of done the same thing."

This brings up an interesting question of whether or not babies and adults make decisions the same way.

On many levels an adult's ability to make rational, safe, healthy, and mindful decisions are far different than that of a baby, but what if the driving forces and motivations behind our decisions were the same?

My decision is...
I choose...

As humans, we ALL have needs and those needs must be met. When they are not met we tend to end up in the following situations:

  •  unhealthy relationships
  •  arguments
  •  sacrificing happiness
  •  meaningless employment
  •  lack of fulfillment
  •  decreased motivation
  •  lack of confidence

The catch here is that adults have the ability to learn how to meet our needs in unhealthy ways, such as:

  • abusive relationships
  • one-sided friendships
  • drug/alcohol use (social use, abuse, and dependency)
  • pursuing very easy (non challenging) tasks
  • pursuing extremely hard tasks(near impossible based on our ability level)
  • maintaining a depressed state
  • maintaining an anxious state
*This list to simply a fraction of how we can meet needs in unhealthy ways. 

You may be wondering what those needs are...

Without further adieu I present to you the "6 Human Needs" that drive our decision making process and motivate our behaviors (regardless of age).

Our need to be safe, secure, and comfortable. The need to know that will we experience pleasure and avoid pain. The feeling of knowing everything will be okay. 

The need for physical and mental stimulation. Our need to experience various emotions, physical sensations, and mental states. 

The need to be love and connected with others. Our need to be part of something bigger (a group, family, club, friendship, religion, political party..etc). As human, we have a severe "fear of rejection" and ultimate fear of "not being worthy of love", so we usually shy away from love and stick with the safe (and certain) connection with others.

The need to feel noticed, important, unique, and worthy of attention.  

Our need to develop, grow, and expand through time.

The need to contribute outside and beyond ourselves as individuals. Many forms of contribution are volunteering, donating to charities, educating others, mentoring, and so on. 

Individuals of all ages, make decisions and behave in particular ways based off of whether or not these needs are being met and to what degree they are satisfied.

"Real Life Practice"
 An assignment I usually give to my clients that I am passing on to you challenges them to look at this list and see which 2 needs drive and lead your life.

Doing this will allow you to understand why certain past decisions were made and how to be more mindful in the future. 

Follow this, try to identify your significant other's, spouse's, or parent's top 2 needs driving and leading their life. This will put you in a more tactful and understanding position when trying to understand where people close to you are coming from and how to interact with them. 

Please share your thoughts and the progress you have been making on this blog below or on YouTime Coaching's Facebook page!

YouTime Coaching on Facebook 

Video: Tony Robbins on the "6 Human Needs"

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