Why We do what we Do Part 2 of 6 – Variety

VarietyIn Part 1, we explored Certainty, and how it could be one of your primary drivers. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, you can find it here. I also highly recommend Tony Robbins’ TED Talk, where he touches on the “invisible forces” that drive us, that he has called the 6 Core Needs. Over the course of six posts, I am going to explore these needs, share some examples, and help you identify what could be your primary drivers. I trust you will get some great value from this information. Or it may simply raise more questions. And that’s okay too.

To refresh your memory, the six core needs are:

  • Certainty/safety
  • Variety/uncertainty
  • Significance
  • Love/Connection
  • Growth
  • Contribution

So, you now know a bit about the driver of Certainty. Let’s explore its opposite force: Variety. We actually need BOTH of these drivers in our lives, it’s just that each of us is unique in what we prefer and how we go about getting it. While people driven by certainty crave routine and sameness, people driven by variety crave new experiences and not only survive but thrive in a changing world.

Me and my Variety…

Time to be honest. Variety is my BIGGEST driver. When I first learned about the Six Core Needs, I was certain that it was Certainty (ha ha…). Absolutely. Certain. I like routine, I like to plan. I like the idea of purchasing my movie tickets before getting to the movies.


I am always questioning that routine and welcoming distractions and diversions. A cancelled meeting. A last minute meeting. A spontaneous drink. Love them all! But it can get out of control. If your primary driver is variety and it is not being met in a resourceful way, your life could get a bit chaotic.

If you are meeting your need for Variety in a RESOURCEFUL way, it’s all good. For example, varying your exercise routine. A personal trainer will pick up really quickly that you need variety and ensure you get it. You may choose to travel to and from work via different routes or means.

How to tell if it’s not working

Do you lose things on a regular basis? If so, this may mean you have a strong need for Variety and it’s not being met. Think about the level of variety in your life. Are you mixing things up a bit? Ensure you are seeking variety in ways that serve you and move you towards your goals, not away. I always know I need to look at the variety in my life when I lose items – especially important ones. It means I have too much routine and certainty. Time to mix it up!

So, what drives you more? Routine or mixing things up? What changes could you make that could ensure you are well on the way to meeting your goals and being true to yourself?