The most controversial topic of all time, as I observe and experience how consumers justify prioritizing wants over basic needs, so we will explore these two variable concepts that I can vouch for, almost, always, get consumers into serious financial trouble.
“Bare necessities of life, the simple bare necessities, forget about your worries and stress. I mean a bare necessities, your Mother’s nature’s recipes that bring the bare necessities of life. “-Phil Harris, Bruce Reitherman.
It refers to basic necessities for our own survival and that we cannot live without, such as the air that we breathe, such as food, shelter (housing), simple clothes (not brand names, bling, bling), education, and proper basic cleanliness and hygiene (as they usually say, cleanliness is next to Godliness). Once all these basic needs are met, we are fulfilled no matter what our situation or whatever is going on in our lives.
Wants, on the other hand, are usually unplanned, driven by selfishness and ego, instant impulses, instant gratification, greediness, competition, comparison with others, being less concerned or defiant, or being out of touch with your current financial situation; thus, living other people’s dreams on their own terms (as they dictate to you what you MUST have or not have, even if your current situation does not allow) and looking at it from a different perspective.
The main reason (there could be many reasons) why we confuse the two concepts is that we lack self-control, proper planning, patience, and a flawed decision-making process and review. We live in an instant microwaveable life (no patience whatsoever) where everything MUST happen right NOW on our own timetable – instant gratification;
If it does not happen NOW, we lose our marbles and our minds, and we force it to happen by ALL MEANS POSSIBLE. In the process, we do not care who gets hurt along the way. While we get whatever we want at all costs, as long as we get it, that is all that matters.
Usually, those things or “stuff” cause so much distress, misery, and pain that in the end, we are neither happy nor enjoy the purchase or possession and we regret the decision of having undertaken the flawed path to start with. We go through the process again and again and never learn the lesson.
It is a choice, not a feeling. Let us use an example to illustrate this. You know that when we eat too much of our favourite food or drink of any kind; it leads to discomfort (tummy aches or headaches or sleeplessness or restlessness) because we have over-indulged (taken in excess of what our bodies could handle).
No, we still continue to binge because we want to impress, defy, ignore, or not care about the consequences, and in amazement, we wonder what really happened and want to blame everyone else around us and not point at Self, but not ask the right questions either, such as “what got me here”, or “how did I end up here”, or “why am I here” (review) is the most ignorant behaviour that ever existed when you deny the truth.
We avoid the answer like the plague because we do not want to hear the appropriate answer that will help solve the problem; still, we continue down the same downward spiral path of defiance and ignorance, as if nothing wrong has happened, as it is obvious that there has not been any thinking or thought applied before taking on any of the decisions.
Once the indulgence has started and the cycle continues, we reach a point of no return. Disappointment, blame game, rage, anger, stress, depression, and even suicidal thoughts come into play.
We take on the helpless victim mentality posture and do not take any early action. Instead, we wish, hope, and pray that the problem will go away, but unfortunately, it never does. Instead, it gets worse and deeper, and nothing will change until we face it and deal with it openly and honestly.
This has all to do with our behaviour, ego, and attitude (respect, value, and how we treat ourselves, as money is an extension of self) that we work so hard for, but can hardly keep & manage any of it.
Remember that money has vibrational energy; if you grumble or complain about a lack of it, it will vanish from your hands; on the other hand, if you develop different thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors about money, the results will be nothing short of amazing.
The money asked an interesting question, “How can I make sure I have you around me forever?” The Money answered, “If you take care of me Today, I will definitely take care of you Tomorrow”.
If you want to effect a different result. It starts with the CHOICES you make, and not the emotions you feel. Here we talk about the reality of the situation at hand and not what you hope to see, or imagine.
Let me make an example to clarify the point if you earn R5000,00 ($321) per month; you cannot compete or compare yourself with an esteemed acquaintance who earns R50,000.00 ($3210) per month, because both your paths, i.e. age, education, position levels, needs, wants, lifestyle (achievements) are not the same and they will NEVER be the same (just like the fingers of your hand are not equal).
So in essence, we are saying hold off for a moment and apply your mind and run your own RACE (stick to your path). Frankly, I do not know how this esteemed friend earned that R50, 000.00 ($3210) or what activities and decisions he conducted and undertook to earn that kind of money. I am definitely sure he will not reveal his “secret weapon” of how he lives.
Just like the fastest man, Hussein Bolt, when he runs his race on a track & field; he never looks to his Left nor his Right nor behind him; just like his name, he BOLTS just like a horse, focused FORWARD. Truth be told, he is not competing or comparing himself with his fellow athletes; he is competing with himself (his personal best time).
So, if you can start to use the teaching in this example, you will see the changes in your lives. The best part is that there is always help (coach, mentor, guide) out there ready and willing to assist. However, the challenge is ignorance or denial or both that the problem exists. It has taken over and is holding us back, like a slow poison, killing and destroying the fiber of our families from moving forward to achieve their life and financial goals.
The worst, and sometimes uncomfortable and bitter pill to swallow, is to face the man in the mirror, the “demon”, head-on, openly, honestly, and with the intention of being truthful and not covering up (sugar coat); to find a permanent, lasting solution where we must live within our means for NOW, so it becomes a Way of Life (Lifestyle) and live the rest of our lives that we were meant to live lovingly, peacefully, joyfully, and enjoying the journey to a selected final destination.
Disclaimer: We are not saying you will never achieve the status of our educated, upwardly mobile friend who generates a high income of R50, 000.00. With vigour and focus, armed with a good plan and clear SMART goals and vision for your life, I believe you CAN. Understanding that there are cycles(ebbs and flows) it takes time, and timing is everything.
You see, if you look at the word “LIFE”, which stands for FREEDOM TO CHOOSE, and you take away the letter “F”, what you are left with is “LIE”, and that is exactly what you experience, a lie to yourself, your family and loved one’s because you are running someone else’s program or race, and not yours and that brings and invites all sorts of unintended consequences, so stick with your path and in time you will reach both your life’s and financial goals. As they say, “The Pyramids of Giza were never built in one day”.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. You are more than welcome to share uncomfortable emotions and decisions you have experienced with some of the ideas shared here. You can leave a comment below. Thank you once again for gracing us with your presence.