The Need in the Want

Dec. 19th, 2016

In the ongoing Great Debate about needs versus wants, I've seen heavy emphasis put on the ‘need’ side. This is logical as needs are of vital importance to human beings in order to exist and exist happily. However, what information might be gained if we turned our attention to the wants?

I've developed a technique for myself that was originally designed to help me feel less wistful whenever I saw something I wanted. The idea is to write down the thing I want (for example let’s use a houseboat). Then I write down the need behind the want (in this case it was fewer possessions and the ability to store and manage them all easily). Last, I write down how I could meet the need with the abilities I have (I have the ability to give things away and work to manage my storage more efficiently). The by-product of all this was uncovering the need in the want.

This concept and technique gives the power back to me, similarly to my blog about active choosing. When I've identified how I can accomplish what I really want/need, I no longer have any feelings or judgments about anything external. If I want better storage so much, I need to go ahead and make that happen! It's no one’s responsibility but mine to create what I need.

What needs might be lurking in your wants?