I have many thoughts when I wake up in the morning. They are mostly always surrounding the idea of improving self. This morning was no different and as I awoke this morning I found myself asking a simple question, What is it that we really need in our lives? In true form, that then led me to another question, do we really understand the difference between need and want? The reason the first question materialized in my head was because it was 6:30 am and I didn’t feel like going to do my morning jog. I said to myself I NEED to get up and go do it. Now of course, I didn’t NEED to go jogging, my life at that moment didn’t depend on it and missing one day of jogging was not going to set me back.
Still, after another fifth-teen minutes of debating in my head I decided to get up and go jogging. My rationale behind the final decision was the fact that I want to lose weight and that I want to lose it faster than I am, therefore, not going for my run would be counter intuitive to that goal. So I NEEDED to go run. In life we loosely allow the word need to flow from our lips. I need a new pair of shoes, I need love, I need a woman, I need a man, I need money, I need God and so on. These are things that we think we need but do we?
People are still living happy lives without all of these things that I just mentioned. Life can still go on in a positive way without needing any of it. It’s obvious that we don’t need majority of the things that we say we do because people who do not have these same things are alive and well. Let me give you two definitions without giving you the word.
- “require (something) because it is essential or very important.”
- “have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for”
Looking at those definitions, one is a definition of need and the other is a definition of want. What I’m asking you to think about is rather simple. What is that we really need in our lives, what is that we need that is very important? Even when it comes to the human body that we experience life in, we are able to survive without things that we think we need. We can live with one eye, one leg, one arm, one less finger or none at all. All of these things would fit into the definition of “very important” would they not? And yet, people are living life happily without them. So we must not “need” them only “want” them.
We can even take it a little further in the sense that we don’t need people in our lives. We think we do but if we did then people would not pass away from old age. Again, need means its essential to life. Don’t we eventually become at peace with the passing? Don’t we continue to live without them? So it’s not that we need them to be with us forever, it’s that we want them to be with us forever. A lot of the things, people and beliefs that we have in our lives or continue to add to our lives are there because of attachment. As many spiritual coaches understand, attachment can lead to dysfunction in our entire being, which is why many practice and teach the power of detachment.
Detachment does not mean that we can’t or won’t enjoy the things we want but rather understanding that if we have them, great and we don’t have them, great. To say it another way, it means that the things that come and go have no affect on the peace within us. Maybe you’ve become attached to a belief or to a person or to a way of living and aren’t aware of it. There is nothing wrong with this attachment unless your attachment is causing your unhappiness and/or if you’re desiring higher consciousness.
I’m no different in using the word “need” loosely. I say it all the time without even thinking about it. I’ve often said “I need to make more money”, “I need to change to be better” “I need a new car” but in truth I don’t need to do any of these things. I want to do these things because I desire to be better or to have more but I don’t need to be better or I don’t need to do better. If we live our entire life always needing things but not realizing its us really wanting things, what happens when we don’t achieve them? Are we now to be unhappy? What is it that we really need? If we can survive and continue to live positive lives without all of these things that we say we need, what is the one thing that we need to do or have? What is essential?
If we can understand that the things we say we need are actually things that we want(not the end of our world if we don’t get them); we can then know that the only thing that we need to do is live and that the only continuous needs are to be better at that. If we are not living we can not want. So the question(s) that we should ask ourselves is, How does one live? What is truly living? And that may be the hardest question to answer because the answer to that question will is different for everyone.
For one person, living may be the believe of allowing God to take full control over their life and for another it may be taking full responsibility over everything in their life. Maybe truly living is making up their own rules to life as they go and for another it could be following every rule passed down to them. As I get older and wiser and search out for the answers to life, I’ve learned that anything is possible and impossible. For example, it’s possible that Adolf Hitler is in heaven (if such a place does exist) even though he ended many lives before his own passing but it may also be impossible because of his actions here on Earth. The more I understand the bigger picture, it leads me to believe that it’s more likely than unlikely. (But that’s for another entry)
The point I’m trying to make is that as connected spiritual beings we can’t discount the way others choose to live their life. I could sit here and tell you that truly living is helping others, loving others, by believing in a higher power but isn’t the opposite of that possible? We should not judge anyone for how they choose to live their life. Though evidence suggest that happier people are people living freely and accepting of all and that those being detrimental to the human population are more likely to be miserable, one can’t be certain that it’s the case for everyone. Some people may be truly living by hurting others.
I can’t tell you how to truly live. Honestly; not one soul on this earth can tell you how to truly live, because how we choose to live may not be what you need to live. But there does appear to be desideratum when it comes to truly living. I can’t say it’s a NEED because we can live without them but to discount them would not be fair but this sub-need (for lack of a better word) has proven to add to the quality of living when incorporated. They are
- Human Connection
These are the two most basic things and yet add the most value to ones life. This is a fact. Unless you are practicing isolation from a spiritual, self-improvement standpoint, continuous isolation can be depressing. There have been studies on isolation from both. The lack of either or both have profound effects on the human body mentally and physically. Not surprising is that with the right type of human connection and the true definition of love in our lives, it gives us a stronger sense of purpose. That’s not a coincidence. There are many actions that are part of these two categories and I can promise you this, you will never regret getting or giving either.
Truly living, it requires that we continue to evolve by the very foot steps we choose to walk and by actively engaging with others and openly and genuinely building solid foundations with the people we bring in to our circle. Some times we bring people in and things in to our lives based on wanting and not being able to decipher between needing and wanting. It’s pretty easy to figure out though. Is what you say you need essential to living? If not, then it’s a want.
I don’t believe there is anything wrong with wanting as long as we know that it’s a want and do not become attached to it. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations all because what we wanted wasn’t anything that we truly needed and it sent us down the opposite path of truly living. If you find yourself being unsure about your life and feeling overwhelmed take a look at all the things in your life and ask yourself do you want it or do you need it? Often times, in order to get your head above water to breathe again you have to eliminate certain things.
Whatever it is that you NEED to do, don’t wait. Start truly living today, tomorrow and next week. Are you needing to live? Try these
- Learn to live for yourself (the details are up to you)
- Get Positive Human Connections
- Give Love to Get Love
Gosh…..all this from morning thoughts…I wonder what’s next?
“We have many needs in life,but the one thing we really need is to be needed by the one we need the most.”
― Author Unknown