Wants & Needs: Part 1

As shown by the picture, most of us have been taught that Wants and Needs are “opposites” or “mutually exclusive” (They can’t exist in both states at the same time.) That is, one is either a Want or a Need.

Not true I say!

Let’s rethink this antiquated notion.

What is a WANT? … or synonymously, what is a DESIRE? (also a wish or a crave) Ah … now the question has a different meaning. A WANT is something (idea, place, person, etc) that we desire and may gravitate towards. However there’s something interesting about a WANT. We are of our WANTS on some conscious level. Let’s look further:

  • I want to go to the beach.
  • I crave a nap.
  • I want that yummy looking desert.
  • I wish could win the lottery! (so I can pay my bills and take a vacation)
  • I want a nice hot cup of coffee each morning

[hint: the last one’s a trap]  😉 

Let’s look at this last one: “I want a nice hot cup of coffee each morning.” So what happens if I don’t get that cup of coffee one day? I might get cranky. I might miss my morning ritual. I might … or even will probably have a headache by the afternoon. My body craves the caffeine … it has developed a physical dependency (no judgement here). So that means, “I NEED a cup of coffee each morning.”  AHA!!! That makes my delicious morning latte both a WANT AND a NEED! Oh my … 

A “want” is very much a need. It’s something that drives us to make decisions and perform actions in our lives. What makes it stand-out is that it has “risen” to our consciousness … we are now aware of the need. It has always been a NEED and now [that we are aware of it], it’s also a WANT. It hasn’t stopped being a need. It’s both.

Let’s keep in mind however that ALL needs are not necessarily wants. I’ll go over this in future blog posts. But for now let’s just say that a WANT is a subset of a NEED. It’s something we are drawn to, BUT, it’s also something we are aware of.

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