(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
It is easy to confuse a want with a need because much of what people say they want is really an attempt to meet a need.
Needs, when un-met, are painful and therefore compelling. They drive you. Attempting to get your needs met can become a full-time job. You know it’s a need when you can’t go for long without having it satisfied.
Wants, however, are different. You can go for long periods without getting something you want. Maybe even a lifetime. Not getting what you want may not be fun, but you judge that your life is OK.
The energy around needing an impressive car is different from simply wanting one.
When you identify your needs and get them met well enough that they heal, you will find your list of wants shortens dramatically. You will also have much more energy to apply to satisfying your remaining wants.
Copyright 2001 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.