Needing vs Wanting.

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I find myself, yet again down in the tropics over the holidays. And it's not at all 'beginning to look a lot like Christmas'!

Since October I've been skipping out on the cold rainy west coast weather and have been living out of my backpack in warm wonderful places.It's thanks to traveling that I am reminded of how little I need and discover what's important to me in my life. Now don't get me wrong. I could make a HUGE list of the things I want right now. A new computer. A video camera. A new engine for my van. Some eggnog... But what I need? I can't think of one thing. And for that I feel lucky.

The holiday time is a great time to consider 'What do we really need in our life?'. Many of us make the effort to give and receive around this time of the year. And being part of that process can be so rewarding. But have we lost track of our needs and gotten absorbed in what we want? Sometimes it's nice to be reminded that less can be more, and as lucky as many of us are to have the ability to give, is what we're giving necessary?

Here is an article I wrote a couple years back covering my thoughts on needing vs wanting. I invite you to be aware of this over the coming weeks leading up to the holidays. And maybe instead of giving the unnecessary, tune into the necessities.

Enjoy! Love Nicole


By definition, to 'need' is when something is essential or when something is required in order to have success and achieve something. To 'want' is to feel a desire to have or do something.

Food, water, clothing, and shelter are the few things that humans need to survive in life. Beyond these simple needs, we have the opportunity to have much more, but what's really necessary? It's very easy to get caught up in the things we want due to the influence of our environment, beliefs, our hobbies, and what social groups we (want to) belong to. A 'want' usually stems from a thought (conscious or not) as we seek a sense of self-enhancement, and fulfillment believing that getting what we want will give us satisfaction and make us happy.

You can ask yourself 'Are you are sheltered from the weather? Can you pay for the basics of life in society and still eat, be clothed, and provide for those important to you? Can you find enjoyment in the things you do with little cost involved?' If the answer is 'yes', then consider that you have enough.  Maybe you have more than enough!


It's quite easy to notice our wants when it comes to materialistic things. We want because we deserve it, because it's fashionable, because it's on sale, because it looks good, because the one we have is old... we can justify and find many reasons why we should get what we want. But maybe we can begin to ask ourselves 'Is this essential and required for my well being, or is this to satisfy a desire. Do I currently have enough?' With that awareness, we recognize our wantsand make it a conscious choice.



No matter how much or how little money we have chances are we feel we don't have enough. We can spend our whole life working, trying to make money for the future and always wanting more, but than we easily loose focus of what we presently have. If we begin to recognize that what we have is all we need, than our attitude towards money can change. We can learn to trust that 'I have enough now, and I will have enough later.'


When it comes to money and materialistic things, we can make choices to affect what we have in the future. In relationships we can communicate what we want from our partners, friends and family, but we have little control over what we get from them. Love from others cannot be found or forced. The only thing we have control over is the love for ourselves and the love that  we share. It's through that love that we can influence our relationships with others, becoming more excepting and wanting less from those in our lives.

It's not that we shouldn't want, because wanting allows us to set goals and intentions for the future and allows us to recognize what we need in order to get what we want. When we learn  to control our wants and our urges to change from what we presently are or have, we can learn to live more in the present and less in the want of the future, discovering fulfillment, satisfaction and happiness with what we already are and have.