Many people have expectations of us.
Our parents had expectations of what sort of children we should have been as children and now they have expectations of what sort of children we should be as adults. Our children have expectations of what sort of parents we should be. Our spouses/partners have expectations of what sort of spouses/partners we should be. Our friends, neighbors, and even acquaintances have expectations of us. Professionally, our employers, employees, co-workers, customers, and suppliers all have expectations of us.
Although we need to consider these expectations, what matters most is what we expect of ourselves. What matters most is that we are the person we want to be, or at least we are working toward becoming the person we want to be. Don’t “jump though hoops” for others to meet their expectations if their expectations are not also your expectations for yourself.
Sacrifice is a part of life. We can have anything we want, but we cannot have everything we want. We constantly make sacrifices.
As a simple example, if you want to lose weight to improve your health, sacrifices might include eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer desserts and/or spending time exercising rather than watching television. You can look at these as small sacrifices for something more important—better health.
Now let’s look at it from a different viewpoint. Are you sacrificing your health for the enjoyment of eating desserts and watching television? Is your long-term health worth the short-term pleasure of desserts and television?
In any situation, think about what sacrifices you are making and what benefits you are receiving. Are the benefits worth the sacrifices? If yes, great! If not, why not? Is there something you could be doing differently? What benefits are most important to you long-term and what sacrifices do you have to make to achieve them?
It is important that we keep “doing.”
We need to stay active physically and mentally or our bodies and minds will deteriorate.
We need to keep moving forward in our professional and personal lives or we will stagnate.
To make the most of our lives, we can’t stop; we need to keep doing.
I think there is a great deal of confusion on what we need compared to what we want. If we can make the distinction between “need” and “want” I think it can help us in multiple areas of our lives.
For example, we need food, clothing, and shelter. Under food, we need safe, healthy food. That’s it. We may want high-fat, high-sugar food, but we do not need it. In fact, most of us would probably be healthier if we had less. Under clothing, we need functional clothing for what we do. We may want name brands, but we do not need them. Under shelter, we need something that will keep us safe and healthy. We may want a house so we can compete with our neighbors, but we do not need it.
I think that one benefit of separating needs from wants is that we can make better decisions. If we truly need it, then we get it or do it. If we just want it, then we can think further about whether or not it is the best use of our resources.
Another benefit is that it can help us achieve a feeling of gratitude. We all have so much more than what we really need, but do we recognize it, let alone appreciate it? If we focus on all that we do have, rather than the wants that we don’t have, we will enjoy life more.
What are your needs compared to your wants?