‘More and more’ syndrome

Needs or Wants

My mother told me years ago I had too much ‘stuff’.  She was right of course.  There is great personal ‘cleansing’ for me in having a massive clear-out!

Our society is characterised by a sort of ‘more and more’ syndrome. Some would say that it is not only our society, but the nature of the universe itself which is expanding, always getting bigger, and more. We always seem to want something, and when we get it we do not feel satisfied, so we focus our attention on wanting something else. The key to understanding this phenomenon lies therefore not in finding the object or outcome of our desires, but in investigating the process of our desiring.

According to Maslow, once we have achieved the fulfilment of the needs on one level of the hierarchy, we can begin on the second level. In practise there is a degree of flow between levels.  We may find ourselves unemployed and in serious danger of not meeting our physical needs, while simultaneously being concerned with the level 4 needs of recognition, acceptance and a sense of competency.

Hierarchyofneeds

There is also the possibility that although we are in possession of a healthy bank balance, and have totally fulfilled level 1 and 2 needs, that we continue to strive for greater success and financial security, even to the detriment of the higher level needs that Maslow suggests should now be enjoying our attention.

There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

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Do you need to do something because of external pressure?

Hierarchy of Needs

The nature of human needs has been theorised upon by many, but perhaps the most well known classification of needs is the Hierarchy of Needs as defined by American psychologist Abraham Maslow.  He placed human needs in a hierarchy not of importance, but of priority.  Only when the needs on the lowest level have been fulfilled can we begin to put energy into getting ‘higher level’ needs fulfilled.  For example, if we are hungry and have no food or way of obtaining food, we may enter a space of physical danger to fulfil our physical need. In so called ‘primitive’ societies hunting for food placed the hunter in physical danger (negating the level 2 need for safety and protection).  In the same way a relationship (level 3 need) may be sacrificed to fulfil physical needs for food and shelter if the need arises.

Behaviour is very much determined by both needs and wants, and many of the problems we experience in relationships come from the needs or wants of one impinging on the fulfilment of the needs or wants of another.  This will be discussed more fully in the next few entries ….

Peer pressure is an example of a need forced from the outside.  Needs of this type are obvious in children or young adults, when ‘everyone else’ has or does what we want.

peer pressure 2

The desired object in this case is not the real focus of the need – the need is for peer approval and acceptance.  The object is wanted to fulfil that need.

peer pressure 1

It is easy to see the difference between a need and a want in a case such as this.  There is more about this in the next post! There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

Peer pressure: are you getting that car to impress the neighbours?

” Keeping up with the Joneses’ has been a phrase in use seemingly forever in out language.  Peer pressure is an example of a need forced from the outside.

Keeping-up-With-the-Joneses

Needs of this type are obvious in children or young adults, when ‘everyone else’ has or does what we want.  Children regularly come home from school wanting this, that or the other because a friend has it and would not be ‘seen dead’ in a make of trainers which is a lesser one.  My parents were not well off and I didn’t pressure for things, I just internalised: I remember feeling inferior at Grammar school in the early 1960s when all the girls had Slazenger tennis racquets and mine as ten shillings of Preston Market!  Peer pressure can seem enormous.  The desired object in this case is not the real focus of the need – the need is for peer approval and acceptance.

Jomeses 2

The object is wanted to fulfil that need.  It is easy to see the difference between a need and a want in a case such as this.

There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

Do you live in role; Don’s wife, Jo’s mum/dad? What about YOU?

Do you live in role; Don’s wife, Jo’s mum/dad, the boss at the office? What about YOU?  Are you more than the wage-earner?  You CAN feel that you have lost your individuality and don’t matter!

role 1

When we know ourselves only from the outside, it is difficult to know our needs, as they are experienced internally.  When this happens, we place the needs of our role above our individual needs. This devalues us, and makes us feel that our needs ‘don’t matter’.

role 2

As we grow within ourselves and come to realise that we are important and valuable people, it becomes easier to express our needs and to take the necessary steps to fill them.

role 3 role 4

It is important that we learn to differentiate between those needs which are genuinely our own, and those needs we experience as a result of the influence exerted by the outside world.

 There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

How do YOU work out exactly who you are?

How do YOU work out exactly who you are?

Who are we?

Before we can express our needs, we must be aware of them ourselves, and tied up with this, is the issue of personal identity.  The question ‘Who am I?’ is such a difficult one to answer that it has become subject of a philosophical debate which has occupied the greatest human minds throughout the ages. The need for a personal identity is however an immediate one, and one which we often resolve by identifying ourselves in relationship with others, or in terms of our function in the world.  We are ‘a mother’ ‘a father’ ‘a lawyer’ ‘an accountant’ ‘John’s wife’ ‘Sally’s father’ and so on.

who am i

Our identification with social or externally determined roles can be so profound that it can at times rob us of our very lives.  The position of women in many societies is a good example of this.  We need only to consider the extremes of physical or emotional mutilation, or even death, to which women have been subjected to appreciate the extent to which this is true.

who am I 2

Historically, women in Western culture have identified themselves by their role as wife or mother, and all other concerns have been subservient to this function.  Although it is fair to say that these stereotypes are changing, many of us, men and women alike, are still only able to define ourselves in relationship to the external world.

  There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

Emily Dickinson on the benefits of meditation & reverie

Emily Dickinson on the benefits of meditation & reverie. I have been watching the bees on my hollyhocks in these hot summer days – such a simple pleasure.  It reminds me of this Emily Dickinson verse below … bee 1

 To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee –

One clover, and a bee,

And revery.

The revery alone will do if bees are few.

Emily Dickinson

bee 2

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. After she studied at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she spent a short time at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family’s house in Amherst. Thought of as an eccentric by the locals, she became known for her penchant for white clothing and her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, even leave her room. Most of her friendships were therefore carried out by correspondence.

While Dickinson was a prolific private poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime. The work that was published during her lifetime was usually altered significantly by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. Dickinson’s poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends.

Although most of her acquaintances were probably aware of Dickinson’s writing, it was not until after her death in 1886—when Lavinia, Dickinson’s younger sister, discovered her cache of poems—that the breadth of Dickinson’s work became apparent. Her first collection of poetry was published in 1890 by personal acquaintances Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd, both of whom heavily edited the content. A complete and mostly unaltered collection of her poetry became available for the first time in 1955 when The Poems of Emily Dickinson was published by scholar Thomas H. Johnson. Despite some unfavorable reviews and some skepticism during the late 19th and early 20th century as to Dickinson’s literary prowess, she is now almost universally considered to be one of the most important American poets.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all ……

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

 There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!