Children in elementary school are clearly taught the difference between needs and wants. A need is something crucial for survival, like food, water, or air. A want is something that makes our lives comfortable, more exciting, or both. But often, as adults, we blur this line between needs and wants, and often put things—or people—into the wrong categories.

When was the last time you said, “I need air.”? Probably never. You know it’s necessary for survival, but instead, you’ve probably said, “I need a new iphone.” Or “I need to get a new pair of boots.” Or worse yet, “I need my significant other.” Special things and people bring our lives added bursts of color and a certain spark. They are important, but they are not necessary for our survival—even though, at times, it may seem hard to live without them.

All too often, we sum ourselves up by who and what are in and around our lives. Instead, think about your blurry “needs” as true wants—I want a new iphone or new boots. I want my significant other. Once you begin looking at things or people in your life in a different light, you’ll realize that they’re in your life because you want them to be there, not because you’re reliant on them. You don’t need your significant other, you want him or her. And once you can see that, you’ll better understand his or her value—and you’ll have a better sense of your own as well. Begin looking at yourself as a strong, self-assured, independent being. You’ll appreciate your partner more for who he or she is on the inside, and the frivolous extras will simply fall away as you learn to better stand on your own two feet.

Mind, Body, Spirit, TCM, Tips

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