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Do We Need or We Just Want?

Updated on August 26, 2019

Need!?

What is really a need for us?

I am asking myself this from time to time. We are used to get /to desire different things, but do we need them?

One short example:

  • in the morning, many of us, drink coffee. Is this a need or just a habit?

In some mornings I decide I don't want to drink coffee and I feel dizzy and I wonder why? Is it because I need coffee or its just the habit of the body to be served coffee every morning.

I am inclined to believe the second, because for many years I didn't drink coffee.

I know that basically we have few needs: food, warmth, shelter and love.


Desire!

What should be mentioned here?

On one hand, we can add here the things/activities which we want either because we saw somewhere , either because we experienced sometime and we want to try again.

Here, maybe, the coffee example above is a good example and as I explained above, the experience we have with coffee makes us desire every day.

But what else can we add here:

  • things we see at others, and we think that they may be fit for us too
  • activities others do, and we think we want to do, too


How Can Should/Can We Manage Desires vs Needs?

This is a tough question, for should or can part.

How can we manage?

  • I this depends on each of us. We can fulfill each desire we have, day by day, minute by minute

But here, the big question is: if we keep desire things/activities..etc, when will we feel satisfied?

If we always want something else, how can we enjoy what we desired few moments ago.

Lets take a simple example: you want to eat chocolate and you eat 1,2,3 pieces. If you continue to eat , after 5-10 , certain number of pieces you won't even feel the taste of the chocolate , but the desire to eat chocolate will be there in your mind.

Same is for adrenaline sports. If you do one time one sport which triggers some special inside you, you want to do it again and again. You might even not feel that you got tired, the adrenaline keeps you going. And as you continue, we become a small robot who does the same thing over and over again.

  • How can you realize that you do something pleasant if you don't stop to check?


...The Should Part

For how we should handle desires/needs?

Here again we can have a long discussion and I will try to summarize as short as possible.

The best way to handle with desires (because these can take a lot of time, energy and can get us circle around) is to satisfy desire by desire, and to stop at each step.

Now, here comes the tricky part, when to stop and when to continue?

For example, if you climb a mountain, when do you stop to check how good the activity is? In the top? Or from time to time?

This is a decision for every of us and for every thing we do it can be differently. This is because we may want stop from time to time for some mountains and for others we may want to climb to the top to stop.


The Last Idea

About the question in the title: desire or need?

There are few things we need, as I already said. Everything else goes in the desires section.

And a healthy way of dealing with them is to try to keep the track. For everything we want, we can ask ourselves : do I really need it?

If we don't buy that thing/don't do that activity and this doesn't affect our health, then it is sure a desire and we don't really need it.

There is one more thing we have to consider, that at some point and some level, even a desire may trigger some unhealthy reactions - headache and other illnesses.

These situations can come we didn't succeed to keep the track of what is desire and what is need and can become worse if we aren't careful.

SO..basically tracking of what we do is important, so we don't fall in the desire loop.

More important is to stop, often or not, to check how pleasant are the activities/things in our life.

And one more add-on: we can even define for each of us, a thing/activity to be pleasant, because the mind is a very powerful tool, we just have to use it!


Comments

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    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 

      8 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Couldn't agree more, of course. ;)

    • kknde profile imageAUTHOR

      kknde 

      8 weeks ago from ROmania

      Yes, they work in same way, but in case you aren't careful with desires, they can lead to a living without living.

      It is good to look for better in our lives and we can do it, we just have to define the "exit criteria" well. This is a term used in It, for something to complete a job, likewise, in what we want world, when you have defined a "exit criteria" 0 - when to stop and check, then everything will be fine.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 

      8 weeks ago from Ottawa

      Need and desire work the same way in the mind. You feel needs like hunger, thirst, air to breath, a need for shelter if you’re freezing, a safe place to sleep, etc. Those are survival needs. You may work 30 miles from home, so you need transportation. No bus or train goes there, so you need a personal mode of transport. But which one? You choose a car. You don’t need a Rolls or Bentley, but you may really want one.

      That desire can turn into an obsession and feel like a need. All you physically need is cave or tent for shelter, but we have a basic mental need to improve our lives, real or perceived. Do you need a mansion or castle? No. But your desire to improve your life may force you to work toward one. It becomes a perceived need, tied to a real physical need, as most desires are. For you there’s no difference.

      So we can categorize these as mental needs. All needs demand resolution. But unlike physical needs, mental needs can be resolved by a change of mind due to learning or rational thought. You can’t afford the Bentley and unless you win a lottery you never will. Even if you got one given to you, the 600 plus horse motor guzzles gas like a Lear jet, your insurance is going through the roof, parts are going to cost you arms and legs, and chances are, people are going to want to steel it from you. Best to go with something you can actually afford. It may not satisfy you completely, or at all. But it resolves your basic need to get to work. Most people compromise.

      There is no survival need for you to run in to a burning building to save a life, but if you don’t you may hate yourself. So you may be compelled to risk your life because of your beliefs/feelings in the moment and the need to be able to be comfortable in your own skin in the future. There’s no such thing as a selfless act. All acts are rooted in personal mental or physical needs

      So again, needs and desires work the same way and mental desires are usually related to physical or mental need. Desire is about how we want to resolve those needs.

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