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Pendulum swings of human needs

My NLP teacher taught us something very useful tonight. She summarised Tony Robbin's model of human needs.

There are two pendulums that human beings swing between. They are the certainty-uncertainty pendulum and the significance -connection pendulum.

Although we want certainty (routine, stability, financial security), we also get tired of it and look for the excitement that uncertainty brings. This is the reason why couples in steady and stable relationships are sometimes tempted by extramarital affairs. This also explains why some abused wives prefer to stay in a marriage for its financial security than to leave. "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't."

While we strive to gain significance for ourselves, such as our mission and life purpose, we also want to belong - to get that sense of connection and love. This is the pendulum that defines typical mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationships in Asia. The daughter-in-law feels insignificant, but the mother-in-law feels she's less connected to her son. There's this constant struggle.

Until you've resolved the two pendulum swings, you won't be able to get to the 5th and 6th stages. Putting it another way, when these needs are fulfilled, then you will have time and energy to grow. Only then will you be able to contribute to the bigger picture.

How does this apply to myself? I swing between the certainty of a full-time permanent job and the uncertainty of freelancing and being free. I swing between achieving something for myself and wanting to belong in a relationship. Have I resolved these swings? I feel like I'm growing through improvements in health and the joy that my relationships bring. Am I contributing to the bigger picture? Will make a difference at the end of the day?

25 November 2002 Monday

NLP = Neuro Linguistic Programming
NAC = Neuro Associative Conditioning
Stage 1: certainty
Stage 2: uncertainty
Stage 3: significance
Stage 4: connection/love
Stage 5: growth
Stage 6: contribution
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Anne Ku
writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.