HUFFINGTON POST: The 3 Core Needs: Satisfy Them and You’ll be Happy
November 15th 2010.
If humans were cars, we would have been recalled a long time ago for a key fix in the ignition equipment. A serious defect keeps our desire machinery defaulting to a belief that other people, goodies, or status can make us happy or worthy — the exact opposite of what can do the job. This leads to a lot of stall-outs as we chase external payoffs that can’t possibly satisfy us.
So what do we really need? That’s the 64-zillion-dollar question. If we knew the answer, we’d know exactly how to get what would satisfy us. How big would that be? For most of human history, the answer to that question has been a gray area that sales folks have happily filled in for us, creating needs where there weren’t any for designer togas or shoes with blinking lights in them. Luckily, we live in a time when some very sharp minds have deciphered the correct motivational wiring.
Edward Deci and Richard Ryan of the University of Rochester have led the way, with an aspirational framework known as self-determination theory. I find it amazing that this remarkable tool hasn’t made its way into the public consciousness. Self-determination theory is a veritable GPS to fulfillment, decoding our innermost longings and linking the world of science and spirit. It’s been vetted by hundreds of scientists in more than a dozen cultures.
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By Joe Robinson