Human needs

4.1.2015 - 9 minutes read

Please make sure you read Layers of mind and Subconscious mind first so you can really follow what I’m about to share.

If I had to pick 3 things that are most important, this would definitely make it in.

According to Tony Robbins there are 6 basic human needs that you should be aware of. 

  • 1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure
  • 2. Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli
  • 3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed
  • 4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
  • 5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
  • 6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others

There are multiple levels on which you can apply these (and of course this is not a complete list):

  • 1. Yourself as a human
  • 2. Yourself as an employee/business person
  • 3. Yourself as an animator
  • 4. Your audience
  • 5. Your animations

Let’s start with simple examples on the human level so you get the grasp of it. By the way one thing that your quality of your life depends on is if and how much your needs are met, I advise you to take this personally:


If you want to have a good life you need to feel certain that you can avoid pain and gain pleasure. You need to feel certain that you have food and shelter. You want to feel certain that your loved one loves you back. Certainty is very important.


If you want to have a good life you need to have variety, experiencing the same thing over and over again is not fun, it’s boring. Meeting the same people, having the same conversations… boring, not good. 


If you want to have a good life you need to feel significant. Doesn’t matter if it’s being the president of the United States, being the funniest guy to hang around or being the best mom or dad to your kids, people want to feel significant.


I think this doesn’t even need any comments.


Progress is happiness. Again it depends on you what you chose to grow in, can be lifting more weights in the gym or can be eating more donuts than yesterday, whatever makes your subconscious happy.


If you ever helped somebody you will know what this is about. If you haven’t, the theory is that humans are wired to cooperate and help each other and put very simply – if you do good for others the biochemistry in your body will release hormons that cause you to feel good.


Once you know this you can actually consciously chase these things so your quality of life increases. Remember to have an open mind if you want to increase your performance in animation I recommend to start with yourself first. 

Now that we get the idea we can focus on the most important thing, the audience (and its subconscious) :


Let me start with a quick question – why do people even watch movies or play computer games? Well in my opinion it’s because they don’t have something in their real lifes or they have it but they want more of it. One thing could be that some of their needs aren’t met or they are not experiencing enough emotions that they want. Basically they seek value and they are willing to pay for it. If you want a good review you have to at least match the value.

How to do it? By matching the needs they have while watching a movie or playing a game.


Audience (and its subconscious mind) needs to feel certain that the animation/movie/game was worth the money. They need feel certain that they made a good choice and not wasted the money on some crappy quality stuff. If they watch a movie scene they need to feel certain about what’s going on, if there’s something confusing it is very bad because it makes the subconscious confused/stupid but the ego makes sure you don’t get hurt so the subconscious mind makes an assumption that it’s not you who is stupid but it’s the actual scene, therefore the movie/game.


Who doesn’t love new characters, new moves, new punchlines. If there was one guy, doing one thing, repeating the same line, it would be very boring. 


This is very important when it comes to games and it is often very neglected. People level up to feel significant, if you level up to the highest level everything needs to be in line with significance, the VFX, the sound effects but most importantly the animation – this should be show off time, this should be unique animation that you can only see when reaching this level of the game, unique, significant.


For any movie or game its crucial that people can connect to the characters. That they get ingaged. They get sucked into the story, there’s nothing better than making the audience experience the same emotions as the character. You can only do that when the audience is connected to the character. When there is a good connection between player and the character in a game when they level up (like in previous example) if you do everything correct and make the character smile and very proud, the player will feel exactly the same way as the character. In movies by connection you actually care about the character, when something bad happens to them, when someone is mean to them you get so engaged that you (in your mind of course) argue with the other person that is attacking your favorite character.


In games this is leveling up, learning new skills, in animation you can display this by progressing the characters movement for example, the character can start like a clunky guy but becomes really acrobatic and finesse over time. You can often see this in a martial arts movies. Again, for some funny reason when your subconscious sees the guy on screen growing/improving because of the connection you are able to feel the same about you.


This seems not related to animation at all, right? Wrong! Think of it as making the audience part of the show, make them feel like they helped. One funny thing about subconscious mind is that it doesn’t recognize if something is real or not, spin this to your advantage. Make your character wave to the screen and say „Hey, you there, would you mind showing me where the door is?“ Now if your audience would be kids, you can actually trick those little minds into thinking they are part of the movie – just make your character wait a bit and then thank the audience for cooperation.

This is just one way to look at it, remember, it’s all about the mindset, more articles on this topic coming soon, stay tuned!