Don’t Get In Your Own Way: Your Needs vs Your Wants


I can be very particular.  I like to have things a certain way.  There is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes it can be a hindrance.

When I am writing, I like to write out my first draft with pen and paper.  Not so long ago I had to write with a certain kind of paper and a certain kind of pen.  I had to write on a spiral bound legal pad with pink paper and I had to write with a black, fine-point, felt tip pen.  If the spiral binding of the legal pad got bent or if the cover became ripped or too worn, it was useless to me and I had to get another one (I never threw them away, so that created another problem I had to work on).  When I couldn’t find that particular pen or that particular legal pad, I didn’t write.  This was a serious problem.  Being particular was holding me back.   I had to realize that although I wanted to write on a fresh legal pad with pink paper while using a fine-point, black, felt tip pen, I didn’t need to.

This confusion between my needs and wants extended to other parts of my life as well.  I had to have my desk arranged a certain way before I sat down to do my work.  My daily routine had ordered steps that had to be followed in that particular order and if that order was disrupted, the entire day was thrown off and it seemed impossible for me to get anything done.  Now that may sound crazy, but I prefer to say that I was simply confusing my needs with my wants.  I wanted things to go a certain way, but in reality I didn’t need it to happen that way in order to function.  I realized that I wasted valuable time and energy by letting the attachment to the things I wanted prevent me from doing the things I needed to do.

I would like to challenge all of us to take a careful look at the things that we feel that we can’t function without.  If those things aren’t food, clothing, and shelter, chances are you may not need them,  you may just want them.  There is nothing wrong with wanting things.  I still struggle with needs vs. wants from time to time.  We are all works in progress, but progress takes work.  We all should work on making our live easier to enjoy.  Don’t put unnecessary stress into your lives.  There should be noting in your life outside of your basic needs (food, clothing, shelter) that prevents you from functioning and being productive.

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