Needs Versus Desires
We all want things. But our wants can be categorized into two different sections: needs and desires. With some things, the category that our wants fall into can be easy to distinguish, but for other items, it can be very difficult to figure out. With a little bit more understanding of needs versus desires and a look deeper at your wants, you can understand precisely what your want is.
Needs are requirements. Some of the easiest needs to identify in your life are those required for physical survival. Things like food, water, shelter, and proper clothing are all needs. You need those to have a happy and healthy life. Other needs can be based upon mental and emotional requirements.
These things could be friendship, mental stimulation, and education. While physically you can survive without these things, you need them in order to survive and flourish mentally. The hardest needs to identify are those that are specific to you.
Maybe you need alone time in order to function. Or perhaps you need ten hours of sleep instead of eight. Maybe you need to sit in the front of your class in order to not be distracted. These are things that you still need in order to survive but are not as obvious to others.
The major thing that you need to look out for are the things in your life that you depend on like you need them, but they are actually desires. These things are normally linked to addictions but not always.
Some examples of these are your daily glass of wine. Dessert after dinner. Spending time on social media, and more. You might feel as if you will die if you don’t have these things, but you actually won’t. These items have been conditioned into your life so that you feel like you won’t survive without them. But, if you were to remove them from your life, you would be alright without them.
Desires are items that you lust after. They are the things that you don’t need to survive, but instead just really enjoy having. Items that you desire could be physical things like the internet, new clothes, snack foods, or a new car. Desires could also be nonphysical things such as attention, acceptance, or high social status.
Your desires are what set you apart from everyone else. Everyone needs food to survive. But do you desire pork over chicken? Yes, you need food, but if you could choose, what kind of food would you desire? When all of our basic needs are met, and we are doing better than just surviving, we can focus on our desires.
Sometimes, desiring things is held in a negative light. Some people believe that you only deserve to have the things that you need and nothing else. This is a very pointed way of thinking that can lead to frustration and a lack of creativity.
It is perfectly fine to desire to have fun by reading books, playing games, sewing, or something else. It is alright to want to take a speech class instead of a math class. There is nothing wrong with wanting mustard over ketchup, or olives instead of pickles.
We are all different and therefore, all of our desires will be unique and ever evolving. The main thing to look out for is to make sure that you are taking care of your needs before your desires.
Our needs keep us alive and our desires keep us happy. Always make sure that your needs are met, then you can focus on your desires. A cellphone is no good to you if you died due to a lack of food. Both desires and needs are important but remember to prioritize them appropriately.