The Grasshopper popped in on a phone call yesterday and had this to say: “If you always need something to be happy, you’ll always be needy.”
It seems we pursue neediness more than we do happiness and it usually doesn’t have a happy ending.
There is a difference between need and desire and we often confuse the two. Needs are things you can’t live without – air, food, water, etc. Desires are things that we perceive would make our life better or more fulfilling or complete.
I’d rather be happy than not, but I recognize happiness as ephemeral. It comes and goes. It’s not a permanent state and it’s not a requisite need.
We fall into the trap that something will make us happy. Perhaps it will, for a time. Take the person who “needs” a new car to be happy. How long does that happiness last after the purchase? To the first oil change?
We’ve all done this fill-in-the-blank: “When I have _____________, then I’ll be happy.” This suggests that we need something to be happy. We don’t. Happiness will visit whether we get what fills in the blank or not. Its arrival is independent of the desired thing.
Neediness is a result of confusing desires and needs, and when we’re confused, we experience a lot less happiness.
Catch yourself saying, “I need _________.” Then immediately substitute the word “Desire” in “Need’s” place.
When you make a clear distinction between the two, you become less needy and experience more happiness.
All the best,
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