Monday, November 16, 2009

Its Not What You Want, Its What You Need

Every year around at this specific time of the year people are busy thinking about what they want. That's right, as the holiday seasons begins to rev up its engine, we are reminded that many people will begin to ask for what they want. People are looking for that great present. You know...that X Box or tricked out GPS system. Or maybe even a new cell phone that has all the works. Toys will be purchased, gift cards will be bought. However, while these things are nice and reflect our desires for things that we want, they do not reflect our needs.

Why do we as people seem to always treasure all that we want yet fight against the things that we need the most? I'll tell you why...because having what we need is usually not as glamorous or immediately gratifying as the things we want. I am reminded of the line between wants and needs in my own life. When I was in my early 20's I frequently searched for the things that I wanted to make me feel good about myself in the immediate moments of my life. However, what I really needed was a deeper sense of meaning and fulfillment that could only be attained through choices that led to long term fulfillment in my life.

For example, growing up I was a huge Florida State and Syracuse University football fan. I loved both teams dearly and wanted so badly to go to either one of the schools. While both schools are great academically and would have allowed me to be a solid student-athlete, where I needed to be was James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virgina. Why JMU? I never wanted to go there really during my official visits for track and field, but something was calling me there because I needed to be there.

I wanted to get married to a woman who was a high level athlete and very popular in school. I ended up marrying a woman who is decently athletic and who wasn't given much attention in school at all. She pretty much flew under the radar to most men, but you know what... she has been more than wonderful for me. She has been my rock, my comfort and my greatest joy. I realized that I didn't want those glitzy stage driven women. I realized for the first time when I met my wife that I needed a woman who would be down for me, who would love me unconditionally, a woman whose beauty was apparent both internally and externally.

I wanted to just get my master's degree and get a job, but I was being called to finish the path that I was on and get my terminal degree. Did I have to get my doctorate to run a fitness facility and personal train people? No way, but I needed to separate myself from others in my field and create a differential advantage. I needed to get my doctorate because it certainly has created long term success for me.

I wanted to keep all of my money, possessions and time all to myself in the past, but as soon as I began to donate portions of my money, give away some of my things and invest my time into others I found out that a great need had been fulfilled in me. A need to be rich in ways that could not be measured by my net worth.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you pursue the things that you need in your life, no matter how unpleasant that may be sometimes, then you will realize that you are also getting what you want. Because in the end you cannot attain what you desire or want so badly unless you take on the task of inviting in the things you need so desperately.

Thanks for reading everyone! Until next time...

Dr. D
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