How to Differentiate between Needs of Livelihood and Desires? | The Nature to Desire More in Life

Human life is driven by many factors. One of the prominent features of human life is need. But often, man is unable to detect when a need becomes a want. Before going ahead on this topic, it is important to distinguish between “need” and “want”. Need can be understood as a basic requirement that drives survival, so that requirement is met. For example if we are denied atleast 2 meals a day, our need is not met. If we do not have decent clothes to wear, depending on the circumstances we are born, our need is not met. Now the definition of need is also dependent on time, place and circumstance. Wanting to wear enough woolen clothes in the Siberian region is a basic need, while need for protection from wild animals may manifest as a basic need in the jungles of the African continent. But having been given a fair idea of need, it is also necessary to understand want.

Want, is to be understood as an insatiable desire to “need” endlessly. It is born out of dissatisfaction within the life process itself. I may have two pairs of shoes, however I may define my need as “Wanting” two pairs of shoes every month for an undefined time period. Now, this is abnormal. A politician wants to seize power and rule over the state, he may want to impose his personal law, wherever possible and he may also endlessly tire himself towards achieving that goal. This is an anomaly in human behavior. A want, always masquerades as a pressing need. Unless it projects itself as need, it cannot survive. This want is thus born out of impurities within the thinking machinery operating within the human being.

It is to be understood that the main drivers towards unreasonable “need” is the presence of six enemies of the “soul”, proliferating in the human mind. When any one of these six impurities of the mind, do the talking, know for certain that the trigger is not your “need”. These six anomalies are greed, anger, lust, envy, pride and bodily attachment to others who mean a lot to you, in some way. Tackling these six enemies of the mind becomes vital, if we are to define true happiness in the first place. For this we have to separate wants from needs. Questions that one should ask oneself to know whether something is a want or a need are given below.

1. Is the thing, propping in my mind, highlighting itself as a “need”, vital for my growth, will it make a big difference if it does not come into my life?

2. Is that thing vital for my wellness or well-being?

3. Is that thing going to enhance my capabilities or will it serve as something that can further my internal development?

4. Is that thing of desire, an outcome of my “wanting” habits. Is it of any real use to me?

5. Am I indulging in this “want” mindset, because of my environment, Am I being programmed to “need” so?

Answering the above questions, sincerely, is not an easy task. In order to self-access, it is vital to dis-associate from mental-instigation. Such a possibility will flower,, only if one were to take up some spiritual practice. Compulsions of the mind can be identified by the individual doing self-introspection, if and only if, that person were to create some distance mentally from the happenings of the world around, to some extent. This is only possible if spirituality is integrated within the life-process. It is interesting to note that, when one becomes spiritual, needs shall automatically get fulfilled, even before they manifest as needs; wants.. there shall be none!