What is the difference between things you need and things you want? For some people, there really isn’t a difference.
All of us have legitimate needs. We need to have food to eat, water to drink, air to breathe. But, all too often, when we listen closely to how we talk to ourselves and others, we will hear about all kinds of pressing “needs”: “I need to get that promotion.” “I need to sit by the window.” “I need her to call me.” “I need you to stand up for me.”
And, most often, we will also hear about the tension and stress that go along with these so-called needs, because, after all, what if we don’t get what we need? You see, we multiply the pressure we put on ourselves when we apply “need” to everything. Often, there is the implied “or else something awful will happen,” which isn’t necessarily true.
It is a sign of real maturity when we can upgrade most of our needs to wants or preferences, and it is a sure-fire way to lower our stress quotient, as well. For example, supposing the status-giving promotion you needed so badly doesn’t come through. You are devastated, right? Every thought, every action is colored from this perceived “failure” to get what you “need.”
But what if you change your thinking from a need to a preference? Sure, you likely wanted the recognition that promotion would have brought, but the world will not quit spinning without it, and there are many positive things about your present job, as well. Perhaps your desire for recognition can be met in some other way – volunteer work, for instance.
Wants or Needs? Dig for the truth behind your needs. It won’t take long, if you are honest with yourself. You will find that there is a tremendous difference in how you experience life when you make this shift. Why not give it a try?