Understanding: Wants Vs. Needs


Wants vs Needs

How often do we create mountains out of molehills? We should start by defining our needs and our wants. What qualifies as a need? What is a want?

A need is something you have to do. A want is something you would like to do. I often confuse them. There are days when I take my needs for granted and sacrifice them at the expense of my wants.

Let me start with some examples:

My medications
My bedtime
Work projects
Parenting time with my kids
Paying my bills
Weeding my property
Following my food plan

... The list goes on.

I used to think all of these were needs. And as you can see by the list, they don't all seem reasonable to complete in a day. As a result, I would improperly prioritize those items I felt would yield the largest gain or results.

I focused on growing my business, because if my business was successful, everything else would fall into order behind it (or so I thought). But I didn't realize that neglecting myself and my actual needs was a serious issue. I believed I was too busy to get the rest of the list done.

Since embracing mindful thinking, I have been able to accomplish everything on the list, and more. I realized that the more time I found for myself, the more time I had for everyone else.

Waking up this morning, I immediately centered myself with gratitude, spirituality and mindfulness. This week, I took my medications daily and made sure that my bedtime was consistent. Everything else today is a by-product of those good behaviors and habits. I naturally had time and energy to follow my food plan. (I even found time to walk a few miles while working and ride my exercise bike today.)

After that, I was able to spend time with my kids: watching their shows before and after dinner, reading to them before they went to sleep, and hearing something good from each of them regarding their days.

The one thing I didn't have time for today was beating myself up or playing the victim. Was I perfect in my quest today? No. My inboxes aren't empty. Yet. They are smaller than they were yesterday and I found acceptance about not requiring them to be empty each and every day.

The reality is that an empty inbox is a want - not a need. Realizing this allowed me to focus more of my time on my needs and less on my wants. An amazing thing happened...I found the time I needed for my wants because my needs were being taken care of at the exact same time.

Don't let perfect ruin good! And don't let good ruin doing something!

I used to let the desire for perfection paralyze me and prevent me from moving forward. The perception that I could not work on my wants until all my needs were perfectly satisfied was crippling; the only thing I ever did perfectly was nothing.

Since then, I have learned that the only 'right' way to do something is to get moving. In meditation, gratitude, and spiritual practice something is always better than nothing!