Since the beginning of time we have been influenced by our surroundings. At the beginning we were hunter gatherers and socialized in small packs. Those were the simple but hard times. You hunted creatures that you can eat and tried to make sure that bigger creatures do not hunt you. It was a survival game.
You are probably wondering what has this to do with values. I am just trying to point out how simple the human mind worked at that time. When you had something to eat you were happy and sad (hungry) when that was not the case. People have forgotten this in our time and somehow it is getting worse.
There is a big difference between need and want. The difference is simple : “You need something because it is a must for you like food, water, clothes and things like that. ”
Wanting means that you are seeking luxury, for instance a better phone, nice car, bigger house.
I would like to say that I was focusing on thing that I need and not want in my life but I know that is not true. When I was little I wanted the best toys, nicest bike and of course the meanest computer. I always tried to convince my parents to get them and I was not happy what i was not successful.
I remembered when my opinion started to change. It was when I was 20 years old and decided to move away from my parents cause I did not want to deal with their rules. Well to be honest they tried to arrange a marriage with my cousin so I sad hell no and packed my bags. In some cultures this is maybe normal but not where I come from. We did not have much luxury but picking you life partner was one of the few we had.
So I moved to a flat with my girlfriend at the time and worked in McDonald’s to pay for food, clothes, rent and my college tuition.
It is funny but milk changed the way how I thought about need and want. When I was living with my parents I did not like to drink water so I drank milk all the time. It was like 2 or 3 liters and I never thought about how much it costed. When I had to buy it myself it was a completely different matter. Was I to spend 2 EURO’s on milk per day : HELL NO. It became clear to me that milk is something I want and not something i really need.
With time I started evaluating all my life choices in the same way I looked at milk. First thing was the mobile phone. Of course you want the high-end Samsung or Apple but do you really need it. For me it is all about the few features : Can i call, text, surf and chat without the phone breaking apart. If yes it is good enough for me. With time I began to notice that I am much happier in life and still continue to do the same.
Now I have a good paying job and my life standard is awesome. I have enough money to buy what I want in the supermarket, can drink and eat as much as I want out and still have enough for a nice trip and some money on the side. I have friend who make more than me but keep asking me how are you having so much money than us. I keep telling them the same thing : “I live in the city so I do not need a car like you, my mobile is not the most expensive in the market and I do not wear designed clothes“. After that I explained them my point of life and some of them started to try the same and even thanked me for it.
So what do you think about this and how do you separate need from want?
Ps. I still enjoy milk from time to time. especially in coffee 😀