Wants vs. Needs

heart light

Just Last Night, my little daughter kept pulling me to the fridge to ask me for Ice cream. Now there is nothing wrong with ice cream is there??But at 11p.m. (well past bedtime) on a heavily rainy and cold day it’s potentially disastrous. Now we grown ups know that don’t we? But for a child its still the best thing in the world and not getting what she wanted makes her cranky and irritable. I try hard to distract her attention from it but all in vain. I actually had to drag her to bed…and even then she kept at it…she couldn’t stop crying and saying ice cream ice-cream…finally after much ado she did fall asleep. What she needed was to go to sleep, but what she wanted was ice cream!

Wants and needs are a funny thing, All our lives we are battling in our heads between these too facts. How often have we gone to a store and looked at something and thought “ohh I want that, its gorgeous!”? And, How often have we gone to a store and thought “Ohh I need that!”? Sometimes it’s a wonder, we have actually grown up..cause our thinking patterns are still mostly childish when it comes to the fine things we want. If you must’ve noticed your thinking pattern, you will realize that your mind first always tricks you into thinking about your Wants and then your Needs. Whereas, your needs are more important than your wants.

You need water, but you want coke instead.

You need food, but you want fries instead.

You need air, but you want air conditioning instead.

There is nothing wrong with wants, cause to some extent they are the driving force for which we might be working so hard. But here I am talking about unnecessary, unhealthy, and self indulgent wants.

The internal conflict between our needs and wants is a never ending process. So, how do we think above it? Is there a way? Ofcourse there is. There is always a way if we choose to find it. Below are three steps I have found work like a charm. These steps have been tried on a group of individuals, and all came out with flying colors. But of course, practice is the key.

Small steps towards self improvement with huge benefits.

3 Steps to overcoming your unnecessary wants:

1. Consciously know what it is that you truly need.

2. Think twice (maybe more) before you act on your wants.

3. After making your choice in your mind-Think again by weighing your pros and cons


Always remember-

Your Needs Acted Upon Will NOT Give You A Guilty Conscience! But your wants on the other hand…might just creep up on you…

Attaining selflessness and rising above trivial wants is never easy, but its the need to do so that makes it so attainable.We need to be able to look within ourselves and put ON the light of the heart for the right path.

with love Zeenat

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11 thoughts on “Wants vs. Needs

  1. Hi Zeenat.
    It is interesting to learn the distinction between desires and what you need. It shows that the world is out of balance and we with it. We might have suffered from doing too many things and not enough of what we desired and thus tip the balance the other way in a very irratic way.
    I am learning moderation, to moderate my needs, to moderate my desire.
    That also means I need to have a life that is not too full, so I have time to think about what I really desire and need AND then enjoy what I have got.

    1. Hi Wilma,
      I am so glad you stopped by.
      What you say about moderation is so true. Slowly as a society we are getting devoid of balance, whether its professionally-by working too hard or personally by never ever having enough time with our loved ones. Thats where the choices between needs and wants come in dont you think?
      I am so glad you have been able to strike a balance in your life.You are just an inspiration to us all.
      Thanks for your valuable comments. Will look forward to seeing you here again soon.

  2. Excellent post.
    Truly this constant struggle between “Wants” and “Needs” actually define the choices that we make in our lives.
    I guess we need to find COMMON GROUND between the two and act on it.

    None of these two can be overlooked. As wilma pointed out, we need to moderate to find happiness and balance in life.


  3. Hi Zeenat,

    Thank you for the thoughtful and thought-provoking post!

    I personally don’t see an intrinsic conflict between needs and wants. The problem lies in developing attachments or desires for things that don’t truly serve our lives and well-being. Junk food can taste good and we might want to eat it, but if we truly value our health, we won’t experience such a desire.

    Our wants can be – and should be – conditioned in a way that harnesses them to our advantage, rather than tugging us away from the actions we need to carry out. We can desire to be healthy, helpful and happy. This is where our mind and heart can work together and not fight against each other about what course to take in life.

    This requires mental and emotional maturity, which children have yet to develop and adults have yet to accept. 🙂

    1. Hi Haider,
      You’re absolutely right! We can desire or want to be healthy and all the good things in life….and that’s the right thing to do. That is the reason i have written about the unhealthy and self indulgent wants and desires which on the whole aren’t very good for us in the long run and leave us with a guilty conscience.
      Yes, wants and desires are required in our life to enhance it, but as you said our heart and our mind need to work together for that. And ofcourse mental&emotional maturity, which is where the “3 steps to overcoming your unnecessary wants” comes in.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your valuable thoughts. Highly appreciated.

  4. Zeenat, I think it is HUGELY important to learn to recognize the difference between something we actually need (food, shelter, clothing, love) and something we merely want (material luxuries, ice cream, etc.). Only knowing this distinction can we even remotely attempt to have will power or self-discipline. If we focus on our needs, we’ll always be able to stay on track.

    Thanks for taking on this subject!

    1. Lisis, thanks for dropping by. You know your comments are always eagerly awaited here. As for our needs and wants, well, as you said…well always be able to stay on track if we know the simple difference between needs and wants. Cause knowing and accepting is actually half the battle won. inst it!!.

  5. As I’ve aged it’s much easier for me to know my wants from my needs and I usually get only what I need. But fries – oh my goodness, fries can bo soooo tempting.

    And Lindt’s milk chocolate with the wafers, soooo good – made me give up ice cream. 🙂

    1. Jannie, hehehhe…i cant ever stop giggling when i read something you’ve written. Your blog does the same thing to me as well.
      Yes my dear…fries and chocolates are my two greatest sins….considering i need to loose weight….But, life’s experiences have a way of teaching you what you truly need. Lets hope we all learn before we become too old……
      Ohh and thanks for visiting. Love to have you and your funny bone here on my blog.

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