Needs and Desires (Part 2)

by Scott Noelle

There is no practical difference between a need and a desire. For example:

“I need some water.”
“I desire some water.”

In either case, a drink of water would fulfill the need/desire. The difference is in your perception.

When you’re painfully thirsty, your interest in water is perceived as a need. When you feel okay as you are, but would love a drink of water, your interest is perceived as a desire.

In other words, needs tend to focus on the painful consequences of non-fulfillment, while desires are more focused on the pleasure of fulfillment.

Our culture takes pain more seriously than pleasure, so we often call our desires “needs” in hopes of having them taken seriously (or to justify forcing the desired outcome).

A more authentic approach is to start taking your desires seriously. That means re-connecting with your inherent worthiness — and your child’s, too.

Improve Your Groove

Today, notice when you’re perceiving your child or yourself to be in need. Acknowledge that the need is valid, but then re-focus on their/your desire and the joyful anticipation of its fulfillment...

Which focus is more inspiring?

Originally published on 2006-09-06
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