Wants & Needs: Part 1

What are “wants”? What are “needs”?

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 consciously aware of our WANTS on some minimal level. Let’s look further:

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

[hint: the last one’s a trap]  😉 

Let’s look at this last one: “My teacher wants a nice hot cup of coffee each morning.” So what happens if he doesn’t get that cup of coffee one day? My teacher might get cranky. He might forget something important. He might … or even will probably have a headache by the afternoon. His body craves the caffeine … it has developed a physical dependency (no judgement here). So we translate that to mean, “My teacher NEEDS a cup of coffee each morning.”  AHA!!! That makes his 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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