Think of a time when you really needed something you didn’t have. Perhaps nothing comes to mind. Perhaps many things come to mind.

  • food
  • water
  • air
  • sleep
  • relationship
  • money
  • power
  • security
  • sex
  • exercise
  • vacation
  • validation
  • self-esteem
  • fill in your need_______________

If we need something, it is necessary. How do you determine what is necessary? Have you considered at times what you “feel” you need is really what you want? 

Ask a child what they need and the answer might be a pony. Now we know he or she probably doesn’t need a pony, it’s a want. The child may need to learn boundaries and limits by hearing a “no” to getting a pony. It is damaging to teach entitlement to a child. Perhaps what the child needs is simply more time interacting with those who speak life into his or her soul.

Ask an adult what they need and the answer might be a new job. Perhaps a new job is a need or perhaps the discontentment in the current job runs much deeper than a job. Maybe what is missing is more validation, recognition, power, money, authority. When we are not content with ourselves, we look for ways outside of ourselves to find inner peace. Perhaps whatever job we might have, the emptiness will remain. The need is much deeper than a job. Changing careers is a temporary distraction. Chasing validation, recognition, power and the like is a bandaid covering a need for wholeness inside. Often our brokenness screams and we look for ways to drown out the noise.

What might be truly helpful is to differentiate what we need from what we want. After we explore and identify the differences, we can determine how much time and energy is spent chasing after what we want instead of investing energy in what leads to true fulfillment.

How much time do you pursue what you need? Often, we ignore what we need because we are so busy trying to grab what we want or what other people tell us we need.

Where do you find what you need? Perhaps the need is identified properly but the source you are looking to fulfill your needs is unable, unwilling or inaccessible.

So, what do you really need? If you focus on what you actually need first, find a reliable source and adjust your energy and focus accordingly, perhaps your wants might change.

In wanting less, we often find more!


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