I think sometimes, or maybe most of the time, we get Need and Want confused.

According to Merriam-Webster.com:

Need: a strong feeling that you must have or do something

Want: a desire or wish for (something)

Now, why did I begin to dislike the word Need in 2014? My reasons are mine and mine alone. Need motivates others, I totally get that. Need pressures me. Need makes me tense, takes the control away, takes the fun out, makes me dread. These are not good things for me.

Want, on the other hand, makes me feel lighter, pushes me a little more, takes the stress away, lets me do things in my own time and in my own way. This makes for a better existence for all around me.

There are times Need must take over and I’m all too aware of it. And we sometimes have to push through Need to get to Want. Need to work to do what I Want… This is something my mom always told me: Do what needs to be done so you have more time to do what you want. I’ve tried instilling this in my children, but it hasn’t taken hold in them. Maybe it’s because it hasn’t taken hold in a lot of the younger generation. It’s an I want before an I need generation in a lot of ways. It seems backward to me, but then maybe I’m just antiquated…

I started, at one point this year, replacing I Need To… with I Want To… and in the way I approached writing, cleaning, cooking, etc…, my whole attitude changed. I enjoyed whatever I was doing more. I didn’t feel the tension or the stress. I even got more done. But recently, I’ve found myself falling back on I Need To write, clean, cook, do laundry, etc…, and dreading, hating every second leading up to and in the process of.

Is it a mental trick? Maybe. Does it mean that the Want is less important than the Need? Not at all. But what I think has really been lost is the enjoyment of anything, of everything. There’s so much in our lives that we NEED to do that there’s no time or we feel there’s no time left over for what we WANT to do.

For me, I have to make that mental flip of the switch and change how I think about things in my life. I NEED to pay the bills, but I WANT to write so that I can pay the bills. That’s the job I WANT to have and I want to love it. It doesn’t mean I’m less dedicated or less motivated to being successful. It means though, at least in my little word, that I am doing it with a smile much more often than I’m doing it with a feeling of UGH.

Want puts the passion back into for me. Yes, it is a job and yes it needs to be treated as such, treated as a business, and there have been very few jobs in my life that I can say I wanted to do… But if I changed my attitude a little more to I want to be doing this, the pleasure in it returns.


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