Making what you want what you need

Christmas treeFor those of us who have not already done so, a lot of us are considering gift-giving ideas for what our friends and family might want for the holidays.

Some of us ask questions of our loved ones like, “So what do you want for Christmas?”

It’s like this prior to birthdays, too.

“What do you want for your birthday?”

Then there are statements we make and hear that lead to more “want” questions like, “I need a vacation.”

“What kind of vacation do you want?”

Then there are questions we ask our significant others as we get closer to the weekend and when we have not already made plans…

“So what do you want to do this weekend?”

Wants and needs are funny, tricky things, especially in relationships.

The last question when asked by your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse or significant other can be a minefield of cooties to say the least, if not navigated properly.

It’s like the old, “Do these skinny jeans make me look fat?” question.

You want to nail the answer to this one, if not hit it out of the park entirely.

If we take the time to pause, slow down and deliberate a few more seconds before actually answering (usually time taken to think about what is about to come out of our mouths, when we are granted the luxury of a little extra time, is a good thing), we can avert the minefield.

I would suggest the way to do so is hearing the word “need” (in questions like the ones posed above), instead of the word “want.”

Need is much better served and considered when it comes to gift-giving on holidays, birthdays, vacations and, generally-speaking, just about everything.

When you consider a person’s needs rather than their wants, whatever gift you choose for them will also more likely be remembered years from now, too.

Surveys by merchants in the retail industry have shown gift cards are a deceptively popular choice—that is, many resort to gift cards for their gift-giving quandaries as a safe out. You figure the favorite store or web site (for those stores and companies without brick and mortar outlets) for your loved one combined with a gift card for said store or web site, leaves you pretty much covered in terms of your loved one being satisfied.

This probably works out just the way I related in most cases, but it may also demonstrate a lack of creativity, originality and probably lack of attention spent on the person whose gift card you are giving them.

Now, don’t all of you considering gift cards for your co-workers at your Secret Santa parties stop the gift-card-giving presses. You are all still good people and you are participating in a fun, annual, workplace environment ritual. Here participation trumps actual need as you simply, for the purposes of good professional etiquette, are partaking in the office celebration. Being in the minority at Secret Santa parties (did Bob really not want to participate this year?) can be remembered far longer than what dumb gift you may have given Amanda.

In this workplace instance, need once again trumps want, as in, you need to participate in Secret Santas far more than the urge to want to distance yourself from them.

In your workout routines, “want to” is good for when you are attempting to lift heavy weight. But again, consider need. Do you really need to do so?

For workouts as in life, when your wants and needs become one and the same, you have reached a harmonious, balanced state. You feel better about just about everything.

Is that not what we would all like in this life—to feel better?



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