‘Wanting Is An Option Your Mind Provides, Not An Order You Have To Follow’

‘Wanting Is An Option Your Mind Provides, Not An Order You Have To Follow’

There’s a fundamental difference between “want” and “need,” and it all comes down to choice. As difficult as fighting off your wants may seem, it can help to remind yourself that you’re the one calling the shots.

Photo by Denise Krebs

On his blog, James Clear suggests that taking active steps toward reducing your “unquestioned consumption” while finding a way to want less as a consumer will make your life better. To do that, you have to put things in perspective and recognise what wanting really is:

Let go of wanting things. There will never be a level where you will be done wanting things. There is always something to upgrade to. Get a new Honda? You can upgrade to a Mercedes. Get a new Mercedes? You can upgrade to a Bentley. Get a new Bentley? You can upgrade to a Ferrari. Get a new Ferrari? Have you thought about buying a private plane? Realise that wanting is just an option your mind provides, not an order you have to follow.

The bottom line is you choose to want something. You don’t choose to need something. Needs are orders. When you start to think of wanting as a choice and not some primal desire you have no control over, you can prevent yourself from making bad choices. Wanting isn’t always bad, but it can only benefit you to exhibit control over it.

The Diderot Effect: Why We Want Things We Don’t Need – And What to Do About It [James Clear]

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