Have you ever had a moment when you asked yourself if you really need something? It usually happens to me when I am in the grocery store or about to make a big purchase. Here is an easy way to tell if the item in question is a want or a need?
Here I have to defer to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid. When building the pyramid we have to start at the bottom and work your way to the top. If you start at the top, your pyramid can topple at any time.
As it is in life we have to start at the bottom and work your way to the top.
- Level 1: These are your bottom of the line basics you need to survive consisting of air, food, water, shelter, clothing, and sleep. Once you have all of these then you can move to the next level
- Level 2: This level consists of the need to feel safe and secure. Security comes in many forms, but this level speaks to personal securities such as health, employment, property and family.
- Level 3: This is where we move from our basic needs to our psychological needs. This is where we feel the need to connect to others by means of friendship, family and intimacy.
- Level 4: On this level we start to develop our own personalities. We find confidence, achievement and earn the respect of others.
- Level 5: When our basic life and psychological needs have been met we develop higher skills that define our morality, creativity, spur spontaneity, acceptance, we experience purpose, meaning and inner potential.
If a need is not met, then there is a fracture in your pyramid. You run the risk of the entire pyramid breaking down. So next time you ask yourself if it is a need or a want, make sure you have all of your building blocks firmly in place, all of your needs have been met. At this time we can start thinking about our wants.