do you really need this thing?

Today we ask that you look at your “needs.”

People walk around with all kinds of “needs.”

You need this, you need that.

You need this person to love you more.  You need that person to apologize.  You need your boss to give you a raise.  You need your child to respect you more.  You need your partner to give you more space.

You need that car.  You need that house.  You need those shoes.  You need that phone.  You need more money.  

All these needs!  

And you get so angry when these needs are not met.  You are frustrated, you are miserable.  Life is so unfair.  You are caught in a big drama.

But do you truly need these things?

You may desire these things.  But do you need them?

Do you need them so much that you’re willing to experience a lot of suffering if you don’t get them?

Because this is what people do to themselves, with all their needs.  They create a lot of unnecessary misery and suffering.

In truth, you don’t need all that much in order to live and feel good in your bodies.

At minimum, humans need food and shelter.

In order to thrive, humans need healthy food and regular exercise.  They also need a sense of meaning, and purpose.

Is this clear?  In order for any human to thrive, he must consume healthy food, exercise regularly, and connect each day to a sense of meaning and purpose.

This is what you actually need.  Not just to survive, but to thrive.  

All those other needs you have?  Those are desires.  And it is fine to have dreams and desires.

The problem arises when your desires become demands.

You demand more money!  You demand more respect!  You demand an apology!  You demand that this person gives you what you want!  And if you don’t get your demands, you will throw a big tantrum!

Really, this is what a little child does.  He demands the candy, then screams when he doesn’t get it.

Such behavior is not a problem in a toddler.

But no one really wants to be around an adult who behaves this way.  You probably don’t like being around people like that, do you?

In fact, what’s your response when someone comes at you, making demands?  Trying to shove something down your throat?

It is your natural instinct to recoil.  Not only that: you will want to deny this person his demands.  This is human nature.

Of course, if he asked nicely, you might feel differently.

If said: “Listen, I don’t really need this thing I’m asking for.  It’s okay if I don’t get it.  But it would bring me joy.”  

You might be more inclined to be generous with that person, yes?  Especially if he expressed sincere appreciation, not only for what he is asking, but for all the good things he already has.

Life is like this.  The more you come at reality waving your angry list of demands, the less likely it is that those demands will be met.  

If you approach life gently, from a place of “Well, I would really love it if this happens, but I’m fine if it doesn’t, and I’m so grateful for all the good things I already have” — you might experience things quite differently.

You certainly would experience much less suffering and drama.

Focus on your true needs: cultivating a healthy mind and body, and connecting with a sense of meaning and purpose.  That is all any human needs to thrive.  By definition, a healthy mind and body means a self-loving mind and body, free of of toxic shame, guilt, and self-hatred.

So, what you really need more than anything is to work on yourself, to create love in your life as it is right now in this moment.  When you love yourself and love life, it naturally follows that you will cultivate health and purpose.

Once you do this, you will discover that all those things you believed you so desperately needed, you do not really need.

It is the great paradox: only when you stop needing your dreams to come true, do they finally come true.

There is no easy way around this paradox.  Self-love and transformation must be genuine.  It cannot be faked.