Do you ever ask what do I need? Or what are my needs? We all have different wants, desires, and needs. Sometimes we may not even know what our own needs are, or what the difference between a want and a need is for that matter. So how can you find out what your true needs are in life?
If you’re wondering what you need, you might be on the brink of an existential dilemma. Perhaps you’re feeling frustrated about where your life has been taking you lately. Maybe you’re feeling bitter. Perhaps you don’t feel good enough any more.
But honestly, the answer you’re looking for are just within you if you would take a look. Truly discovering what you really want or what you really need in life could help you find health, happiness, and the focus you need to start living your best life!
This blog post will help walk you through some different types of needs to get started with answering this question.
Answering the Question “What Do I Need”
Often, we get so wrapped up in the “wants” and “shoulds” and “coulds” that we forget to ask ourselves what we need.
What you need as a human being is to be fulfilled so wholly and completely that there is nothing else to achieve.
Your work is done. You have made the most out of your one life that you’ve been given (if that’s what you believe), and you’re perfectly balanced and peacefully content.
Surviving or Thriving?
There are certainly things that we need in our lives. Would you indulge me in some psychology for a moment?
Take a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It starts with your physiological needs such as water and food. Once those needs are met, you get to move to security and health, then love and belonging. The 4th section belongs to esteem and achievement, followed by self-actualization.
If you live in a place with running water, plenty of food, and decent employment, you’re already better off than 50% of the world. Still, many of us who so easily glide through the bottom three get stuck at the top two.
The Conveyor Belt and a Busy Life
I believe that this is because society likes to tell us what we need. I like to call it the “conveyor belt”. Go to school, get into a good college, get a good job, get married, have kids, slave at your career/job until you can retire, retire, die.
This is the path that most people follow in life.
The conveyor belt might allow you to unlock achievements and success, but we’re left with this feeling that the important things are missing!
Even back in the day Socrates would have been living our modern life. We work hard and hustle… we want more and more, higher salaries, more stuff, thinking they’ll make us happy. But often it leads to emptiness in so many other ways.
So when we truly examine our needs, the answers very seldom lie in the higher salaries, more stuff, and “busyness”.
But where our true joy lives is in that self-actualization part at the top where we have gone beyond what others are telling us to do.
List of 19 Things You Might Need in Your Life
There are no wrong answers to what you might want or need out of life. Try these 19 things to see if they help answer your question!
Let’s face it: when you reach adulthood, the level of fun drops dramatically. There’s no question that we need to work to infuse our lives with adventure and wonder.
If you feel it’s excitement you’re lacking, go back to your childhood. What did you enjoy doing that you don’t do any more? How can you put that into your life now, as an adult? What would you like to do for fun?
There is no doubt that we need others to survive and to thrive. Humans are meant to spend our time together with family and friends, and when we are with others who bring out the best in us, we can really start to live our best lives.
Consider your family, spouse, and any relationships in your life. Are there people who practice conditional love with you? Which love you for who you are?
Make sure you have friends and family in your life who sit with you and make you feel safe and free. This is the unconditional love we all need.
If you could build better relationships with the people in your life, would you do it?
Often, we lose our sense of purpose. Our purpose is not our career, but what drives us. (For more inspiration on this, I recommend the movie Soul by Pixar.)
What drives you? For some, it may be expressing their creativity. For others, they may find purpose in helping others get back on their feet after abuse.
Take some time to sit with yourself and discover what your true purpose is, and decide how to align your purpose with your life’s work.
Sometimes, we’re simply out of time. Life is not fair, and some of us experience running out of time by getting cancer, and some people have family who we wish we had more time with.
The heartbreaking part is that there can never be more time. We all get 24 hours in a day, no more, no less. When our time is up, it’s up.
What you can start to do is learn how to live in the present so that we can find the joy from moment to moment, rather than living for the future.
5. Physical Health and Activity
Our bodies need physical activity. When was the last time you took your body out to do something that required power or strength?
Often, just by moving our bodies or getting some exercise, our life starts to flow more freely and we feel so much better. Working out is proven to improve our energy and our mood, so why wouldn’t we really want to get some physical activity?
Don’t forget to eat healthy as well!
RELATED ARTICLE: 6 Ways Good Health and Success Are Connected
6. Your current job to match your career path
Working a current job that has nothing to do with what you want your career path to be can make you feel like you’re wasting your time. Our jobs can be a huge source of stress in our lives, especially since our communities expect us to start working at 22 and work non-stop for the next 30 years (or more!).
What’s your current job? Does it align with your passion? Do you wish you were working somewhere different?
Like fun, joy is another emotion that gets put on the back burner. We work so hard, pressing forward, thinking ahead, worrying about our children and our finances. But joy is still there, waiting for us.
Like achievement, joy can be found in the littlest of places. From a falling leaf, to a beautiful sunset, to a child’s laugh, to really satisfying sex, there is joy all around us. We just have to remember to experience it!
8. To Get Out of Your Head
If you are starting to question your wants or desires in life, you probably spend a lot of time thinking. When we spend so much time thinking, we forget to be present in our lives. This means shutting down our thoughts and focusing on the now, the present moment.
This isn’t always an easy task. It requires a lot of awareness and a release of expectations and control. But living in the present moment is possible and it can help your joy and satisfaction skyrocket.
9. To Set Goals
Setting goals helps us keep the focus on where our life is going. Our goals give us motivation and they help us propel our life to new heights. (Just don’t get too obsessed with the outcome.)
If you would like to focus on your goals, set some SMART goals and make sure you continue to live the journey (not just the destination.)
Let’s be real. Rest is super important. When we don’t sleep well or long enough, we leave our lives open to all kinds of health issues. Lack of deep rest makes us tired during the day, from making informed decisions, and puts us in an awful mood.
If you’ve been having health issues, what you really need might just be some extra sleep. So get someone to watch the kiddos for a weekend and rest up all weekend long!
When we’re confused, we often spin our wheels. We get frustrated and don’t feel sure of why our life feels off-kilter. This means that you should perhaps do some deeper digging.
Get out a journal and free write, or try answering some personal questions for personal growth.
If you feel really lost, then therapy might be a good fit. No shame. Just find someone to talk to who is trained to help you. What would you ask a therapist to help you find a deeper understanding in your life?
12. To Let Go
Hold on loosely, but don’t let go. If you cling too tightly, you’re gonna lose control.-38 Special
Sometimes we want something in life so desperately that we will do anything to have it. We hold on so tightly to this thing, this idea, or this person that we start to lose other things in our lives. We lose control, we lose other relationships, or we could even lose our job or career.
Letting go isn’t easy, but if you’ve been obsessed with something, try these Affirmations for Letting Go.
The question is: What do you fear? It may be difficult, but sometimes when trying to fulfill your deepest needs, you have to have courage.
Do the thing you think you cannot do. Gather up your favorite people when you need support and encouragement, then take that first step forward.
We must leave fear behind if we are to truly do what we need to do in life. Even if you can’t let the fear go, you need to act in spite of fear. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
I certainly know that quitting my job to spend my time with my boys while they are young was a huge risk. But in order to do what I needed, I had to work to make that a reality.
I often choose not to think about money because it’s a fear-point for me. But the truth is that money is an important part of life. It gives us drive and meaning, and it’s how we trade for services and items in our modern world.
But so many of us are scraping by from month to month. Money feels like it comes to us and is immediately spent. (You don’t have to be in poverty to be living month to month.)
So consider asking for a raise, applying for that promotion, or starting a side hustle, like a YouTube channel or driving for Uber.
RELATED POST: Affirmations to Release Your Money-Blocks
15. To Stop Planning and Do Something Spontaneous
When we’re caught up in our masculine energies, we plan, we question, we think. We’re focused, strict, and we only let rational thought to drive us. But this can get exhausting. Stop planning and start to do something spontaneous or creative.
These feminine energies are great for people who need to feel creative but are high-achievers. (By the way, we all have both masculine and feminine energy, regardless of whether you’re a man or woman.)
So take a detour. Drop your plans to work and get outside. Go on a bike ride. Meet up with a friend.
Another thing that happens when we work too hard or plan too much is that we simply wear ourselves out. This means we need to focus on self-care.
But make sure you don’t get in the trap of feeling guilty while doing something relaxing! This is the wrong way to do it because it’s counter-productive.
RELATED ARTICLE: Check out the 20 Best Affirmation Cards Online!
If you’re anything like me, I need to travel from time to time. It helps me learn about new places, have new experiences, learn new cultures, and explore this amazing world we live in. Answer me this question: when was the last time you traveled somewhere new?
These new experiences are a great fountain of inspiration for our creativity as well! To travel somewhere new might be what you really want to take your life to a new level!
If you don’t want to travel, then maybe you just need to change something up. Go to a different coffee shop in the morning. Start wearing lipstick. Get a new haircut. Try a new skill.
Change is a positive thing in life and can really help propel you forward, toward achievement, toward healthy development, and toward a deeper satisfaction.
19. To Boost Your Self-Esteem with Self-Love
If you question your needs, perhaps you require some self-love. This means that you love yourself as you are and practice unconditional love for yourself.
You don’t only accept yourself when you succeed, but you allow yourself grace and space when you fail.
We’re so focused on achievement sometimes that we refuse to accept ourselves until we’ve succeeded. But this is counter-productive and can hurt your overall life satisfaction. You want to love yourself in the same way that you love your closest friends or partner.
4 Tips to Figure Out What You Need
Still need some guidance or help to discover what you really want or need? That’s okay: it’s not an easy question.
These simple tips might help you ask the right questions to figure out what you’re lacking.
1. What makes you feel joy?
Sit down in a quiet space and take out a piece of paper and a pen. Without thinking too much about it, write down a list about what fills you with joy.
Not happiness – joy. There is a distinct difference between happiness and joy that many people don’t understand. (Happiness is superficial and often transient, whereas joy is a deeper, more content feeling.)
Yours might look different, but here are some things that come to mind when I think of joy in my own life:
- seeing joy and wonder in my children’s eyes
- spending quiet time with my husband
- traveling and seeing new places in the world
- experiencing nature, hiking, and breathing fresh air
These are the things that I need more of in my life right now (and what I always want!). Ask yourself this question too. You might love meeting new people! Or maybe home decor lights your soul on fire!
2. What fills you with dread?
Before you do anything with the list you made above, I want you to answer a second question. This part may not fill you with warm fuzzies like the one above, but trust me, it’s essential.
Writing down the things that fill you with dread shows you exactly what you need less of in your life. Once again, I’m not talking about minor inconveniences like a long line at the drive through at Starbucks. I’m talking, real, pit-of-your soul misery.
When confronted with the things that fill me with misery and push me toward depression, I think of last year with:
- hour-long commutes to work
- senseless paperwork
- dropping my boys off at daycare and hearing their cries
- being in a toxic work environment, being harrassed by my principal, having zero support
These answers are the things you don’t want in life. Minimize the clutter of your life by finding some things from this list you can take away.
READ MORE: Navigating the Ebbs and Flows of Life
3. What Boundaries Do I Need to Set?
What kinds of boundaries can you set for yourself in your life right now to ensure more of the things that make your soul content and less of what brings you pain and more of what brings you joy?
Maybe it means working with your partner to make sure you have an hour to yourself each day to work out, practice music, or do art. Maybe it means putting up boundaries with your narcissistic mother-in-law.
With boundaries come balance, so you find that you need to take away from one area to satisfy another. While you navigate these possibilities, make sure you always keep in mind your two lists above.
4. Meditate to Quiet Your Mind
When we’re doing something we love, all our other cares melt away, time is no longer time, and we feel pure bliss. This is called flow.
Meditation and flow share the same sorts of brainwaves and have been proven to bring us bliss. I once heard it said that prayers were sending information to the Universe (or God, Earth Mother, the Source… whatever you call it) and that meditation was about receiving information from the universe.
Meditation is all about quieting your mind to truly hear what the world is trying to tell you. Even if you’re not into all that woo-woo stuff like I am, meditation has been proven highly beneficial.
If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never find it. If you don’t know what you deserve, you’ll always settle for less. You will wander aimlessly, uncomfortably numb in your comfort zone, wondering how life has ended up here. Life starts now, live, love, laugh and let your light shine!
When you want to answer the question of what you truly require in life for the deepest satisfaction and joy, I hope you dig deep, I hope you find courage, and I hope you discover what you truly want and need in life!
Personally, right now, I want to feel free in life!
What are some things you want and need in your life right now?
Drop some answers in the comment below and share!