How do YOU get your own way? – Look at need-fulfilment strategies

How do YOU get your own way? – Look at need-fulfilment strategies

We learn behaviour strategies at a very early age.  We soon discover that if we act in a particular way we get what we want, and if we act in another way, we don’t.  This depends on the significant adults in our lives when we are young.  The reaction of these people tends to be quite consistent towards us, even if this means that they are consistently inconsistent.  This sets up a pattern of response in us, which remains fixed unless we experience overwhelming responses that make us change, or we become aware of our patterns. 


Although there is literally an infinite number of ways in which we act to fulfil our needs, we can distil these down to three broad categories, namely submissive behaviour, aggressive behaviour and assertive behaviour.  It is important to remember that these exist along a continuum, and that we sometimes use different types of response with different people or situations. Although our behaviour may lean more or less strongly towards one of these broad categories, we will present examples of only the ‘typical’ or ‘average’ response.  Again, most of these behaviours are simply behaviours that we have ‘learned’ at one stage or other of our lives, and by becoming aware of them we gain the power to change them.

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

There are helpful free downloads at:

Are YOUR needs important?

Our needs are important

It is clear from what was said a few bulletins ago that if we place little value on ourselves as human beings, we will also place little value on our needs.  We will tend always to place the needs and wants of others before our own.  As we have already seen, many of our patterns of behaviour originate in childhood, in response to the impact we observe ourselves as having on our environment.  If as children, our needs were always ignored, the result will be that we do not value ourselves in general terms, but more specifically, that we do not value our needs.  Then, when we experience a need, and someone else comes along with a conflicting need, we will almost invariably step down, because after all, their need is more important.



It is very easy to justify this behaviour in our society as unselfish, or as virtuous ‘selflessness’, which is not quite the same as being able to compromise. Very few are able, or wish to live in such isolation that none of their needs will conflict with the needs of others.  On the contrary, the fulfilment of many of our needs requires the presence of other human beings.

This makes the need fulfilment a tricky social issue.  By applying certain ground rules it is possible to overcome all obstacles. The first thing to consider is the distinction between needs and wants.  The closer we come to establishing our real needs, the less energy we waste on chasing phantoms, and the more we can focus on positive strategies. Secondly, if we recognise that our needs are as important as the needs of others, and that the converse is true as well – in other words that the needs of everyone are 100% important, we can create a climate of mutual respect and foster a sense of co-operation.  Whether our pattern of behaviour places the needs of others above our own, or whether we ram-rail our needs through in an attitude of survival of the fittest, we devalue ourselves and others and our pattern pushes being in a state of Peace of Mind further and further away.

In fact, if we were to apply the ‘Why push Game’ to either of these behaviours we will come up with interesting points about the way we relate to the world, and about what our true needs are.

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

All about why?

All about ‘why’


The little word ‘Why?’ is a very powerful one when it comes to establishing true motivation.  The process of locking on to a specific objective or an objective to fulfil a need is primarily a subconscious one, involving sometimes convoluted paths of reasoning that take us far away from our true needs.  In Janov’s terms, we respond to wants rather than needs.  Here is an example:


Jim had a job that required him to work a long day and spend many hours on the road.  Although he received a reasonable salary at the end of the month, it wasn’t enough to meet the needs of a wife and teenage family.  He was competent at what he did, and was satisfied with the level of status within his company and among his peers.  He believed he was happy in his job, in spite of the extraordinary long hours and high levels of stress. 

In spite of a happy family life, he experienced a sense of discomfort, which he ascribed to his immediate financial difficulties, and each week he religiously bought a ticket for the lottery and fantasised about what he would do should he win ‘the big one’.  He dreamed of being able to support his family in the way he would like, and of giving up his job and opening a deep-sea scuba diving business in a seaside resort town.  Week after week he bought a ticket and dreamed his dream.

One day a friend asked for help setting up a small business.  He was glad to help, and spent the few spare hours he had planning and strategising with his friend.  The business began to prosper, and the friend offered him a partnership.  The business was still young, and joining his friend would necessitate a drop in income, and he was aware that there were no guarantees of ultimate success in a competitive market.  After very careful consideration, he decided to join his friend.

That week when he bought his usual lottery ticket, Jim made a startling discovery.  He became aware that he would not choose to change anything in his life if he won. The money he would get from a lottery win would be welcome, but it was no longer important – it was no longer a ‘way out’ for him.

Clearly Jim’s ‘need’ to win the lottery was not based on his need for financial security.  He spent many uncomfortable years believing that he needed money to change his sense of discomfort, so he worked harder and longer, and dreamed and schemed to find a way to increase his income.  He was fortunate that his solution presented itself at his door, or he may have continued, like most of us, for the rest of his life looking for the miracle of chance that would be his salvation.

 “Peace of MInd – Pathways to Successful Living” is available from:

The WHY game …

The Why Game


Consider any one of the things you want in your life.  The need for more money is universal enough to use as an example.  Let’s consider Jim’s desire to win the lottery.  Assume you want to win the lottery and ask yourself:

       Why do I want to win the lottery?’

       The answer may be ‘Because I want to pay off all my debts.’ 

       Ask again ‘Why do I want to pay off my debts?’

       Perhaps it’s ‘Because I feel uncomfortable owing money.’ 

       ‘Why do I feel uncomfortable owing money?’

       ‘Because then people think I’m unsuccessful / can’t manage my affairs / am unable to earn enough


why 2

By following this line of questioning a completely different picture may emerge, and it may be possible to modify the behaviour you undertake to fulfil your needs.  It is important to be honest with yourself. It is of course always possible to block yourself, or to reach a point where the only possible answer is ‘because I want it!’  Check whether this is because you have reached a real NEED (use Maslow’s hierarchy as a guideline) or because you are feeling uncomfortable.  If you can be open-minded and accepting of what you come up with, you may discover some interesting things about what motivates you.

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

There are helpful free downloads at:

See also

Needs: If you HAVEN’T worked it out yet, here’s how to!


(Please do this by yourself for 15 minutes or so)

(What do we mean by needs?  A need = healthy condition for a healthy life).

meeting needs

Think to yourself, and write down the answer to the question:

“What do I want?”

Then think, and write down the answer to the question:

“What will that do for me?”

Work through this process until you get to what seems to you to be the
“bottom line”.

Look through the exercise

 (Do the best you know how!  I want you to be able to benefit from the answer).

Sometimes, what the basic WANT is does not match the underlying need.  Sometimes there can be an alternative method to get that need met … see what you can discover about yourself …

needs 3


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

There are helpful free downloads at:

See also


What is YOUR difference between a need and a want?

As with all our behaviour, the greater our awareness of the why behind our needs or wants, the greater the influence we can exert on our own destiny.  It can be compared to shooting towards a target.  If it is dark and we have only a general idea of where we should aim, we have very little chance of hitting the target.  By understanding our motivations, we shed light on the outcome we desire, and we have a greater chance of aiming true.

What is the difference between a need and a want?  A want is the way we have chosen, perhaps unconsciously, to satisfy a need.


  I need reliable transport; I want a new car or a yearly bus pass etc.

 I need love; I want a monogamous relationship, or I want a baby etc.

 I need to feel I belong and am part of the crowd; I want to dress fashionably, or

 I want to join a group like a church, a sports group etc.

By posing the question “What will that do for you?” or “What will that satisfy?” we can get below the want level and begin to find the need level underneath.

Example:         I need to get some qualifications.      

         “What will that do for you?”

                         It will mean I can get a job.

“What will that do for you?”

I will be able to earn and contribute to the family finances.

What will that do for you?”

I will feel more equal in my relationship with my partner.

“What will that do for you?”

I will feel powerful and a person in my own right.

This is a very useful process to go through.  Having started with one solution, a quite different need has been uncovered at the bottom.  There are MANY ways to satisfy that need.  Even if the person concerned still goes on with their original plan, they are much more aware of why they want to do it.  Sometimes, because of the choices open to us at the time, we may have chosen a way to satisfy is a need that could in fact be better met another way.  Sometimes choices we made don’t turn out the way we thought and hoped they would.  Being aware of the need allows US to choose the most useful and fulfilling path.

It may be that you already get your own needs met. If so, WONDERFUL!

“Peace of MInd – Pathways to Successful Living” is available from:

A continuation of the needs : wants debate … Do you know the difference for you?

A continuation of the needs : wants debate … Do you know the difference for you?

I spoke about Maslow on 26th August.  American analyst and writer of ‘Primal Scream’ and other ground breaking works, Arthur Janov has an interesting explanation for this, disagreeing with Maslow.

 primal scream

He includes the need for love as a level 1 need, perhaps even more fundamental than the need for food and safety.  As proof of this, he cites hundreds of examples of the way institutionalised infants fail to thrive when not handled and ‘loved’ by staff, in spite of having all their other needs fulfilled.


Regarding the needs : wants debate, according to Janov’s theory, when a need is not fulfilled in early life, the individual experiences what he calls Pain, with a capital P.  There is a certain logic to this because the non-fulfilment of level 1 needs poses a survival threat to a young organism, which must result in considerable stress, and we know from numerous studies that stress has a profound and potentially fatal effect on the body.

Janov goes on to suggest that this Pain is stored as a memory in a cumulative fashion.  Each time a need is not met, Pain is the consequence, and is stored.  There is only so much Pain an organism can process, and a point is reached when a ‘split’ occurs, and the individual is no longer aware of their needs in an immediate and organismic sense. Henceforth Janov contends we respond only to wants, and these wants are subconsciously driven in the direction of fulfilling our originally unfulfilled needs.  Because we are no longer responding to our original impulses but to a shadowy memory, we will never be satisfied, no matter ‘how much’ of the desired outcome or object we achieve.  That could explain a lot in our society, couldn’t it?

According to him, this process of disconnectedness accounts for the obsessive nature of much of society, and the inability of many to reach a point of inner peace.  The inability to satisfy Maslow’s level 1 needs clearly makes it more difficult to move on to the fulfilment of higher order needs.  Although the specifics of this theory are not universally accepted, it does draw attention to the distinct differences between needs and wants.

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

Free downloads are available from:

Inspirational video about happiness!

Here is an inspirational video about happiness!

Well worth a watch!

This was sent me by Bill O’Hanlon.  You can find him through GOOGLE to sign up to his newsletter!

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

Do you take time to … ?

Do you take time to … ?


Take time to be friendly – it is the road to happiness.

Take time to dream – it is hitching your wagon to a star.

Take time to love and to be loved – it is the privilege of the Gods.

Take time to look around – it is too short a day to be selfish.

Take time to laugh – It is the music of the soul.

time 2

Old English

The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy,

written 31st December 1899.  My much loved granny would have been a month old …


I leant upon a coppice gate

When Frost was spectre-grey,

And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.


The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.


At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.


So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

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