The drivers of human behaviour

The commonality of all people, regardless of race, colour, creed, or socioeconomic status, is to avoid pain and suffering and ultimately, to be happy, whatever that means for us. How we achieve that happiness is an individual journey, but nonetheless, one that is connected divinely by the unity and oneness of people, the planet, nature and all life forms.


When we stop filtering for the differences (separateness) we become closer to the (oneness) of all peoples and from this place peace and compassion can grow.

I want to focus on the six drivers of human behaviour. Personally, I have found this profoundly life-changing: when we question the programme that is driving our behaviours we can positively change our outer world.

The 6 core human needs

  • certainty (safety/control/consistency)
  • variety (adventure, challenge)
  • significance (meaning/importance)
  • love and connection (communication/approval/connection)
  • growth (emotional/spiritual/physical development)
  • contribution (give/serve others)

The first four are defined as needs of the personality and the last two are defined as needs of the spirit. We meet these needs daily either in a constructive/resourceful way or in a destructive and unresourceful way.

With awareness of our drivers and needs, we can empower ourselves to change our programme from destructive to resourceful, and foster more balance in our lives.

Paradoxes exist when we have an imbalance in the drivers of our behaviour. For example, focusing on significance at the expense of love, growth and connection (manifests ego-driven behaviour and outcomes/disconnect). Meanwhile, having too much security and thus craving adventure (manifests discontentment and poor decision-making).

Awareness of the drivers/programme of our behaviour can help bring balance into our lives. If the drivers are out of alignment, we can review internally the lack of balance as an expression of the above six core needs, and ultimately, live a more authentic and joyous life!

So, how are you meeting your core needs? Are your drivers resourceful, neutral or destructive? Are you going to change anything with this awareness?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Belfast BT9 & Dungannon BT71
Written by Denise McNally, BSc Hons, GMBPsS, MAC
Belfast BT9 & Dungannon BT71

Denise McNally, BSc (hons), MAC, Mbpss

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