Wants and Needs

Hey there everyone! Welcome back to another week of my thoughts! Can you believe we are almost through the month of May? Not only am I turning 52 next week, but I am finishing what I believe will be my final year in public education. I know my journey helping schools and teachers is not over, but I am looking forward to how it will be different in the future. Of course, this week will be very hard…saying goodbye to a career that has been so fulfilling for all of these years, but excited about all that is to come!

That brings me to this week’s topic…our wants and needs. I was thinking about this on my walk with the dog the other day as I was going over my new daily schedule, my new budget, my new life all in my head…thinking about how much my needs and wants have changed over the years. I am sure you can say the same thing! It also made me think about how I prioritize how to get all of my needs met, and then work on getting all of the things I want in life!

I am sure you have heard about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs…something I studied extensively in college as I prepared to teach children. Maslow’s research tells us that we have needs that need to be met in order to be able to live a full life. As teachers, we were taught how important the basic needs are, as if you are hungry, tired, etc…you cannot focus on learning and doing your best. I definitely understand this as there were times in my own life when I couldn’t fulfill my own basic needs and life was very challenging.

Maslow says everyone needs to fulfill their needs in this order…his hierarchy…in order to live a life we love…let’s take a look at them.

  • Physiological – your basic needs…food, water, sleep…things that if you do not have, your body can basically shut itself down.
  • Safety – having a safe environment, but also feeling safe in life. I get it, if we feel unsafe, we sure will be very hesitant to do anything as we will be overcome with fear.
  • Love and belonging – yes, this is a need. We are human and we need personal connection, we need love, we need to feel that we are part of something to be able to thrive in life. Loneliness can suck life right out of someone…in case you have never experienced it.
  • Esteem – we need to know we matter…that we are worthy of life itself. And, if you have not figured this out…although it is higher up on the hierarchy, this one can really affect our mindset, our outcome in life!
  • Self actualization – this is the one that gets us to understand we can do things in the world…that we are capable, that we desire to make all of our goals and dreams come true!

Before we can ever focus on our own wants, I find that ensuring that our needs are met is very important. I know a lot of people in the world, and having just one conversation with someone can let you know if they have gaps in getting their needs fulfilled. Let’s think about love and belonging…within a few minutes of talking with a friend not long ago, I can tell that she is feeling deprived in this need. She was sharing about a relationship she is in and feeling that maybe it is changing…and not in a direction she wants. She quickly shared how she is alone a lot, tends to get into arguments with her partner when she seeks outside people to socialize with, and as she spoke, I could definitely tell that this made her very unhappy and worried. Truly, a need is not being met and it is affecting her life.

I would highly recommend taking time this week to reflect on your own needs. Look over this information on Maslow and see if there are areas that you need to focus on to ensure that all of your own needs are being met…and if they are not, what is one thing you can do now that could make a difference in your own life?

Once our needs are met, how do we prioritize our wants? I think about my own wants…and there are many of them (haha)…and I know that if I am ever going to feel that my life is full and I am living it the way I want, I must prioritize and focus on one thing at a time. Think about the transition I am making right now. I want freedom in my schedule, freedom to work toward my own mission, and eventually financial freedom. I know there is a long road ahead of me and that I may find myself working harder at first than I have been in public education but knowing that it will lead to these wants and desires in my life, I am actually ok with that!

I like lists…so of course, I wrote myself a list of all I want in life. Then I categorized my wants…especially because some are much bigger than others. Once I had the list complete and organized, I set timelines with action plans on how to get all that I want in life. Here is something I do that is also very important, I give myself reminders on what I am working toward and include visuals that will help me stay on track. Let me share an example.

I want to be the first millionaire in my family. This will not happen overnight, and I always say, there is a BIG difference between 6 figures and 7 figures. I know I have to think different about my work. I have to think different about my finances. I have to think different about my investments. And I need a plan…a solid plan…to get there. How do I remind myself? I have a vision board posted in my office with the things I would have the freedom to do or get once I make it. I also keep notes on my calendar to remind me of what I need to do during that day of the month. And I am a big fan of reflecting and adjusting as needed…because that keeps me motivated, not defeated when things don’t go exactly how I think they should in my head.

Once you know your needs are met, you are ready to reach for all of your wants and desires. How do you plan to accomplish them all? What has worked for you? Or is this an area you need to do some work in so that you can live that ever-fulfilling life in the future? I challenge you to take some time this week to reflect on this and I would love to hear your thoughts! Until next time! Cheri❤️

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