Balance, Balance, Balance

by Ron
Image source: Bob Miller, Creative Commons

Image source: Bob Miller, Creative Commons

I’ve never had much interest in Anthony Mahavorik, aka Tony Robbins. I don’t really have anything against the guy, it’s just that he never seemed real or genuine to me, but I do believe that he has been a keen observer of human nature to promote himself and his products so successfully. And one of his observations in particular intrigues me. His frame work of what he calls the six human needs. What’s interesting to me is that they are observed as pairs and when they get out of balance, they cause difficulties in people’s lives.

The six (in my words) are:

  • Certainly—uncertainty
  • Belonging—standing out
  • Learning—teaching

Tony’s headings are slightly different and may have more meaning to you if you were to look them up. But let’s take a look at the balancing act.


I’ve watched people who have a great need for certainty in their lives. They’ve protected that need by always making the safe choice, never venturing out, even trying to control every aspect of their lives. The final results aren’t pretty. But those who tip the scales too far the other way to the uncertainty side seem to make more foolish decisions that threaten theirs and their family’s security. They always seem to be looking for the next big thing and are certain it’s right around the corner and nobody else can see it.

Belong—Stand Out

The need to belong and stand out is an interesting one to me because it’s a key balancing act in team building. One of the books on my shelf is titled, The I In Team. The point of the book is that we need to help each person on the team contribute in their own way. To stand out for a moment and really be appreciated by the other team members and yet, in the long-run it needs to be all about the team. The individual’s outstanding contribution must be seen as helping the team achieve its overall goal and be appreciated as such.


Learning and teaching seems to be a deep and important one to me but maybe there’s a particular set for each of us that carries more weight than the others.  But when people stop learning it seems to manifest itself in several ways. One seems to be the case of arrested development.

  • No more changing.
  • No more growing.
  • No willingness to try new things, develop new talents, or tackle new challenges.

The ultimate result of this arrested development is death: physical, spiritual, or mental.

Teaching is sometimes a little more subtle and you do meet those people who declare they are not good teachers and you often have to agree. But they’re usually thinking about the classroom type teaching we experienced in high school or college which is just about the worst form of teaching there is (see A Thomas Jefferson Education). Observe those same people as they sit with a grandchild or someone that’s eager to know about their life experience. They turn into wonderful teachers and the sense of accomplishment and contribution is overwhelming. We all need to teach to experience fulfillment.

Balance, balance, balance. If things seem to be out of whack in your life, try examining it through Anthony Mahavorick’s framework and see if you can restore the balance.

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