Ken Crawford [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg

Choose Wisely; Learning To Desire What You Need

I’ve been thinking about the difference between what we need in this life and what we desire. Our needs are our necessities. We literally cannot live without them. We acquire our needs so that we may live (and live a little better) according to our understanding of what that means. But how much do we truly need?

Desire is altogether different in a few key ways. It is a word used to describe a certain set of feelings and thoughts we have toward the possession of something. Have you ever desired something? I have. Many things over the years. Many of those things could be considered needs- and many would fall well outside that definition.
© Francis C. Franklin : CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
© Francis C. Franklin : CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
On the one hand we have our needs that when acquired allow us to live a good life with less to worry about. On the other hand we have our desires which, when applied to the things we truly need, set us on the right path. But what happens when our desire is focused on the wrong things? What happens when we use our precious time and energy to obtain unnecessary things?
 Berthold Werner [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg

Berthold Werner [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
One thing that happens is we can wake up one day to find ourselves surrounded by things that fall short in making our lives what we need it to be. We also wake to the realization that our time and energy has been wasted, and by neglecting to move in the right direction we have lost ground. Certain areas of our lives may have suffered from the neglect. I can tell you from personal experience that life can and will fall into a state of disrepair if you neglect to pursue the right and necessary things in this life.
Have you ever wondered what the secret recipe was for happiness? You know what I’m talking about… that perfect set of circumstances and behaviors that some people seem to magically possess? I have definitely wondered. Especially when I meet somebody that has that special glow.
Ken Crawford [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
Ken Crawford [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
I used to tell myself that they had money and terrific friends and family, that they where probably born with a silver spoon or where lucky enough to catch all the breaks. I used to think that some outside influence was affecting them in such a way as to make them glow. I was wrong. At least in part- because even though all of those things can have a positive affect on you it does not define you.

By travelwayoflife (Flickr- Sadhu and a picture of Siva) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What defines us is the choices we make. Others may look at you and use all sorts of things to define you- but thats not what I am talking about. I am talking about your definition of you. Not what others say. Think about it- the only thing you have control over in this life is the choices you make.
Every second of every day we make choices. Those choices directly affect the direction in which we move physically and they most certainly affect the way we think and feel about ourselves. Many times we make choices only to stand back and watch as life unfolds before us revealing the consequences of those very choices. Sometimes we choose wrong. That’s life.
By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0) or GFDL (http-::www.gnu.org:copyleft:fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0) or GFDL (http-::www.gnu.org:copyleft:fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
When we choose blindly we will most definitely make mistakes. We cannot know until we have learned through those mistakes. Sometimes we need to make more than a few before we feel confident in every choice.
I have made many, many, mistakes- and I want to share with you how I have learned to make my choices.

1-Never ever cause anyone or anything pain or suffering.

2-Always tell the truth
3-Express Love and Kindness whenever possible
4-Never allow anyone to hurt you
5-Make healthy choices whenever possible
6-Forgive but don’t forget
7-Be thankful
By H. Zell (Own work) [GFDL (http-::www.gnu.org:copyleft:fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
By H. Zell (Own work) [GFDL (http-::www.gnu.org:copyleft:fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
This is a short list but I think it covers the basic principles that I keep at the forefront of my heart and mind these days. This is my recipe for happiness. It took me a lifetime of mistakes to come to these conclusions. A lesson learned I guess… Remember how I said if we desire what we need we will find ourselves on the right path? It turns out that all I needed was to be true to myself in every choice that I made.

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