“I need the latest pair of Yeezys” said Yomi to his mother.

“But you have some really nice sneakers already. You got a new pair only two months ago” came his mother’s reply.

“Oh mom! It’s a new session, so ‘Out with the old, In with the new.’ You just won’t understand, I really need this.” finished Yomi.

If you were following the conversation, would you agree that Yomi really needs those shoes as much as he says? Whatever answer you choose will show whether you truly understand the difference between needs and wants. Let’s see how you did on this little test.

What Are Needs?

This are things you absolutely have to have, and on which your very existence depend. For a fact, you only need four things to survive:

  • A roof over your head
  • Enough food and water to maintain your health
  • Basic health care and hygiene products
  • Clothing (just what you need to remain comfortable and be appropriately dressed)

These, peeps are your needs, everything that goes beyond these is nothing but a want! Surprised? Let’s find out some more.

What Are Wants?

Wants are things you would like to have. Your very existence does not depend on them. Of course, fun time with friends at the movies, pizza and ice cream for lunch, that designer shirt that fits you so perfectly are all good things to have, and you should have them if you can conveniently afford them; but never confuse them for what they are not – these are wants not needs!

Get Better At Knowing the Difference

Once you become better at differentiating between wants and needs, you will probably see that you have been able to fulfill more of your wants over the years than you realised. When there are things that you want to buy or do that you can’t currently afford, it becomes all too easy to focus on those things to the point of overlooking all the many things that you do have. Don’t trick yourself into feeling deprived when you aren’t. 

Take time to reflect on all the ways you have been blessed. Then decide what’s really important to you, and go after it. So many people talk about wanting to do this or that, but they never actually try to make it happen. Be the person who makes it happen. Come up with a plan, and act on it. Even if it takes you a really long time, just working towards a goal is empowering. It makes you feel capable instead of deprived; it makes it easier to tune out all those things you don’t need, and it puts you in charge of where you will go next.

And because life is meant to be lived, not survived; treat yourself to some wants along the way, but only when you can afford to. Enjoy these wants as the extras that they are, and not as the life-wire of your existence!

In this regard, would you say Yomi’s request was a need or a want? Do leave your opinion in the Comment.

This piece was adapted from an article on thebalance,com