We live in a society that values bigger, better, more— particularly when it comes to material things. The house, car, gadget, vacation and so on. The selfies that are really wealthies or images of possessions bombard us consciously & unconsciously daily. A significant consequence of this triggering of endless desires is that it’s easy to overlook what we have. Attitudes of gratitude can make the difference between a good day or a bad one.
Problems start when we start to mix up our “wants” and “needs.” Envy, depression, jealousy are all rooted in this confusion between between necessity and desire. Very few of us have everything we want, and just because it seems others have more, this should not be confused and assumed that it correlates to greater happiness. In fact, there are any number of studies that more doesn’t not equate to more happiness. There’s a point where enough is enough and more than that becomes comparable to a rat running on a wheel.
When we want something, the Law of Awareness kicks in. We suddenly seem to notice whatever it is everywhere—except in our own possession, of course. We become hooked into feelings of lack.
To stay on track for happy lives with enough money for retirement and the real needs that will invariably arise, distinguishing our wants vs. needs is paramount. This starts with recognizing what we do have, and asking if the latest & greatest version of whatever will really make us happier…or financially crunched or worse, in debt.
A good way to assess wants vs. needs is asking: If my home was burning down, would I run in and grab this? Yes, it’s an extreme question, but it does get to the difference between a want & a need pretty quickly.
None of this is to say that we shouldn’t buy & have what we want. But if it’s something that means we’ll have to work too much, take time away from loved ones, skip exercising, get more stressed because we need more moolah to get it…maybe today, something else is really what we need. Only you can answer this question…but it starts with prioritizing our wants vs. needs.
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