Is Your Desire Really a Want or a Need? What’s the Difference anyway?
By Cris Baker
1. Self Sabotage at the Orphanage
“Please put me down” said the young boy. I hesitated.
“Put me down right now,’ he insisted. Reluctantly, I complied.
It was a glorious sunny day for a walk in the park. Many years ago, I had volunteered at the local orphanage while at university and we took the kids out somewhere over the weekend.
The kids enjoyed riding on our shoulders, pretending we were horses they urged us on with cries of giddy-up.
But, for some reason, swinging the boy down to the ground without hurting him seemed like a good idea. Although he didn’t like it, I continued. The second time he said “please stop I don’t like that,” I again ignored his request.
When I did it yet again, he repeated that he didn’t like the way it made him feel and again asked me to stop. But my self-sabotage mechanism was telling me to ignore him since – although he clearly didn’t want to -he needed to learn to cope with such things. Eventually, he insisted and I put him down.
The organizers then wondered what had happened and why I had acted in such a peculiar fashion. Not long after, I stopped volunteering at the orphanage.
2. Self Sabotage is Common
What is self sabotage? You self sabotage when…
– You know those french fries won’t give you the weight-loss you want, yet you ignore your inner voice, order, and eat the fries anyway.
– You have a goal in mind, but your thoughts tell you to perform actions which ensure it will not occur, as happened to me at the orphanage.
– You want a good time with your partner, but you allow some trivial annoyance to become a full-blown disagreement and instead of enjoying yourselves, you end up arguing and feeling bad.
We’ve all behaved in such ridiculous ways. You kick yourself afterwards for doing it, or allowing it to happen, and then you do it again next time. Why? What drives everybody to such self sabotage?
3. What do you Really Want?
Is it confusion, lack of clarity about what you really want?
Do you believe your thoughts implicitly? Do you pretend you are right all the time even though you know such a claim is ridiculous? Is your mind totally 100% reliable?
Most people think they really want whatever their mind comes up with, but shortly after achieving it, they often realize they really want something else instead.
Your self-sabotage mechanism tells you you need something, and you believe it if you’re gullible. It dangles the carrot, expecting you to react passionately rather than asking yourself if it’s a need or a want. There’s a big difference between needs and wants. If you can do without it, it may be something you want, but that doesn’t mean it’s a need.
4. The Difference between a Need and a Want
Food, water, and oxygen are real needs, you die without them.
In practice, your decision on who you think you are is also a decision on what you need. If you decide you are really a film-star with an opulent life-style and clothing, then you need the finest clothes and plenty of money. But that’s only because of your decision on who you are.
The gym membership which makes life more convenient? It depends how you see yourself. If you decide you’re an athlete in training, then it’s a need – also one dependent on who you are.
But can you survive without them? Survival does not depend on having the finest clothes. You can do without the gym membership, there are lots of athletes in the world who train without a nearby gym. You will survive without them, although not in the style to which you’d like to become accustomed. So are they needs – or wants?
Later in life you will decide you don’t care whether you live or die – a decision that all senior citizens eventually make. Then even food, water and oxygen will no longer be needs, and may not even be something you want.
5. Your Self-Sabotage mechanism
The Cherokee Indians say everybody has two wolves living inside them, a black wolf and a white wolf. The black wolf is your self-sabotage mechanism, the white wolf your intuition, your vibe, your still small voice. Every decision you make feeds one of your wolves.
Your black wolf wants you to continue confounding wants and needs, because you’re easier to manipulate when you don’t distinguish clearly between the two. It’s a master of manipulation, it pretends, cheats and lies, one of its many strategies is to pretend it is you.
It’ll insist that your thoughts are always true, even though quiet reflection will tell you that whenever you’ve made a mistake, you’ve believed and acted on an incorrect thought. Many thoughts are true but some are not, which proves incontrovertibly that every thought you have is not necessarily true.
You need to stop being gullible, to stop believing your thoughts. Just because it’s your thought, that doesn’t mean it’s true. Learning how to check out the validity of your thoughts is a great way to improve. Self sabotage is a very common disease.
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