I have this idea that there are two realms of desire.
Most recently, my life philosophy has been circling around this, and it has really affected the way I see the world. Maybe you see it this way too, or maybe it will open your eyes up to another perspective. Either way, I thought I’d share it. It’s a relatively short blog post (by my standards) with very little editing but I hope it’s understandable.
2 Realms of Desire: Internal Needs vs. External Wants
As human beings, we have some very basic needs in order to live. Abraham Maslow first described this as “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”.
They are as follows:
Now, most people have seen this pyramid and are familiar with it. And maybe it’s just me, but I think that some of us just don’t get it (including myself sometimes).
When I say Internal Needs, I’m referring to the self-actualization, esteem, and love realms. When I say external wants, I’m referring to material things such as clothes, vehicles, luxury houses, basically anything in a lot of excess of what we actually require to go through our day to day lives. Most of us are fine with taking care of ourselves in the lower parts of the pyramid (except when some of us forget to eat because they are playing video games, which I am guilty of), but the top 3 parts are where we get mixed up.
Positivity attracts positivity
It’s the law of abundance. If you don’t have much of something and you chase it around, you are less likely to catch it. However, if it’s something you don’t need or want, it will be handed to you on a silver platter. For example, if you just graduated university and you were desperately seeking a job, your confidence and self esteem may come across as low (and unattractive) – therefore, prospective job offers would be minimal. However, if you told yourself that you were capable of finding a job, it’s just that you’re waiting for the right one, your confidence and self esteem may come across high (which is attractive to companies looking to hire) and job offers would come naturally. In my life recently, that has been proven time and time again, and I now firmly believe in allowing myself to feel confident and capable whenever possible.
Sometimes we get it backward
How often do we catch ourselves thinking, “if only I made more money” followed by “If I had that car, I can _____”? If you had a bigger house you can entertain your friends better. If you had the newest electronics, would that really make you more confident and respected? Would someone love you more if you had more expensive clothes? Will material things really improve your self actualization and esteem?
I catch myself thinking that if I found a way to make myself more money, I’d be happier. But I have lots of older clients who all say it’s the opposite – and they’re probably right. When people do focus on just stuff, they become unhappy with their inability to get it, that it reduces their positive energy and replaces it with negative energy. And honestly, who wants to be with negative people all the time?
Fulfill Internal Needs, and External Wants will come naturally (not that it ever matters)
If you really sit back and think about the things that make you happy, it is all internal. With so many celebrities out there, who have mansions and yachts and Lambourghinis, you would think that every single one of them would be through-the-roof on the happiness scale. Maybe People Magazine skews the facts a bit, but you get what I mean when I say they might be a bit unhappy sometimes.
I’m 26 years old, so I’m relatively new at “life”, but if I had any advice to give, it would be this:
Fulfill your internal needs – do things that make you feel confident and capable. Allow yourself to feel respected. Be self-aware of your thoughts and emotions. The other material stuff in your life is just stuff.