“I need you tonight” ~ INXS
Or, as defined by my dictionary
Need (vb): to require or be in want of
What do you need? What do you really need? Feel free to take time to think about that one, pop and put the kettle on if you like, these words will still be here when you come back.
I ask as there is a difference between want and need. And I think people get the two of them confused.
I want to not be in debt, I want someone to take me out for breakfast (possibly dinner by the time I have finished writing this), I want a holiday when I can relax from work and the various stresses I have encountered in my life recently. Do I need these things? No. But do I need security, do I need food, do I need rest? Yes. The first is a list of wants that are mere forms of tending to actual needs.
For those who aren’t familiar (and I only met him two years ago) meet Abraham Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs.
If you look at the bottom two lines, you can see where security, food, and rest come in; no mention of debt, being taken out for food, or holidays and so the difference between need and want is defined. We need certain physical factors; how we want them is a different matter.
The status of our needs fluctuate during the day. They can fluctuate during one conversation. If the need for food and rest is sated, it won’t stay that way as sooner or later more food and more rest will be required. Put simply, if you’re tired and hungry you will not function as well as if you’ve had a decent rest and something to eat. It will be a rare person indeed who hasn’t experienced this at some point in their life. But, as the physiological and the safety needs are met, it allows the mind and the body to venture further; to stretch and expand and take on new concepts. And those new concepts can be scary.
I started writing two years ago about self-confidence and self-esteem so I find the top of the pyramid fascinating. My mind is drawn to self-actualisation, to test theories, to learn, to think, to grow. But in the midst of doing so I may slide around in my needs and need a cup of tea or to hear somebody say ‘well done’. Being able to achieve a state of acceptance doesn’t mean staying there forever. It may only be for one particular issue or for one particular time but, just like with needing food and rest, the need comes about to be met or challenged again.
I’m only touching the tip of the iceberg with this, I want to do a lot more reading and a lot more thinking. Is that a want or is it a need? I’m not sure yet. But to me it translates as quote I used in a previous blog about Competition: “I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself” ~ Mikhail Baryshnikov
In my reading, my learning, my thinking, I want to be the best me I can be. I’m the only ever me there will ever be so I want to be a good one. My friend Jon Harman crated this video on that kind of thinking. It blows my mind every time I watch it. I aspire to be like this:
So I’ll ask you again: what do you need? Take all the time you want to think about it, these words will still be here when you come back.
Caveat: This is not my area of expertise nor my field of research so please don’t take what I say as anything other than my own musings on this particular subject. These thoughts come from inside me, spurred on by my conversations, questions, and realisations.