This week’s challenge is:
“Today I focus on my needs rather than my wants.”
The nature of the mind is that as soon as one desire is met, it is off to the next one, often without taking any time to appreciate the desire that was just realized. An endless stream of wants leads to the experience of scarcity; we never feel full, we never think we have or are enough.
One way to create a sense of abundance in our lives is to decrease the number of our desires. We can do that by putting our primary focus on meeting our needs and then prioritizing our wants. The first step for many people is to learn to differentiate their needs from their wants. Some examples: We need water – We want a soda; We need food – We want a big restaurant meal; We need shelter – We want a new house.
This week practice identifying which of your desires are needs and which are wants. When looking at your list of wants, decide which are the most important to you. On the day or days you focus on this week’s challenge, give priority to meeting your needs. If you put energy into obtaining any of your wants, be sure they are ones you have determined to be of significant importance.
Sometime during the week, write a post about Needs vs Wants. It may be a general post regarding some aspect of the topic or it may be about an experience you had when focusing on your needs instead of your wants.
So it is Wednesday night, I am tucked in bed half-way through season 4 of House of Card. There are many things that I need to do this evening but it is quarter past eleven and my brain is fried. It does not want to do any of the things – it is telling me to relax and write this post that I have been meaning the write for weeks.
I have been thinking about this whole needs vs wants thing for some time now. At first it was quite difficult for me to delineate the two. I realised that that it is because my internal and external life have been chaos most of the time. There has been simply no time to think. I sometimes move too fast to process what I am doing and I have lived to some extent by catering to my immediate desires. I have taken the time this past few weeks to try and understand my behaviours.
I realise that I am stressed very much most of the time. I am nervous, anxious and worried most of the time. Life is stressful. Work is stressful.I have sometimes dealt with this stress by ‘retail therapy’. Earlier this year I employed the KonMarie method of decluttering and in the process managed to give away a great deal of the things that I owned but never used. I am now trying to be more mindful about what I buy. Easier now that I have other spending priorities. Easier now that I am thinking about my effect on the environment, however little. I am trying to be mindful about how I live and how I eat. Easier now that I am really listening to myself and putting on the pause button from time to time.Easier now that I slowly dissecting the anatomy of desire.
I have been thinking about food incessantly these past few weeks. For many reasons – I have watched a number of food documentaries that have made me reflect on my food choices. I have been eating more fruits and vegetables than ever. I am baking my own bread (I have popped my sourdough cherry!). I have stopped frequenting the KFCs and MaccyDee’s of this world. It’s not easy. I am now realising the power and convenience of fast food and all the other food imposters. However I am resisting. At work – the place of my highest stress – I often walk to the office biscuit tin. I open the lid, survey the contents and then walk away. Instead – I have learnt to enjoy eating cashew nuts, hazelnuts and almonds. My ‘treat’ is the 71% organic dark chocolate bar in the top draw. I fill my rucksack with fruit in the mornings and eat it throughout the day. I try to eat when I am hungry instead of when I am stressed. There are less temptations at home – but I am usually less stressed at home and there are other comforters and soothers.
I need to take better care of myself. I need to nurture and have a love for myself that makes it easier to love and care for those around me. I need to value and respect myself in a way that makes it easy for other around me value and respect me. I need to cherish every day that I am lucky enough to be on this earth.