What you want vs what you need

The line between what you want and what you need is not always so clear. We often want what we don’t need and have what we don’t want. We live in this cycle of desire that leaves us always wanting more and feeling so inadequate that we beat ourselves up over not being good enough. Not pretty enough. Not wealthy enough. Not skinny or strong enough. It’s never enough.

We always want more because we can’t seem to draw the line between want and need. When do you have all you could want? And when do you have all that you need? Is that even possible? It doesn’t feel like it these days because of the materialistic and capitalist world we’ve created. Life is no longer about surviving, but is a competition about who can thrive. Who has the best job, the bigger house, the more success. It’s a power struggle.

Many years ago it was reserved for the nobles to have cut grass. Cut grass meant livestock to keep the grass short which meant more wealth. Nowadays, nearly everyone cuts their grass because the level of nobility has increased to that of the general population. Same has happened with technology, clothing, just about everything we have these days. I’m willing to bet that the same envy you have for someone with a new car or the newest iPhone is the same envy they had about others having cut grass and two sets of clothing.

My point is this, if you are reading this, you already have access to more knowledge than the rest of the entirety of humanity has ever had before. You have a device that is worth more than half of the rest of the population makes in a year. Being aware that you don’t need that thing you want is not settling for less, it’s making a wise decision. It’s realizing that you are a global citizen and that you already have more than you could ever need.

Rap / Lyrics – inspired by Prince Ea’s “why I refuse to let technology control me”

Im not a rapper, but after watching his video I wanted to write something back…

“Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera.”
Kinda gets me wondering…
How many people are living their lives through a lens?
How many are, ignoring their friends, sitting at the table, unable
To hold a conversation longer than the cable
Keeping them tuned in?

Tuned in? Or tuned out.
Either way, life’s not about
what’s on your screen, it’s more than that.
It’s all the things that can’t be seen,
With your head in your phone all the time
you’ve got to wonder what it all means.

To be locked away in a digital cage
it’s no wonder people can’t look
at a book without checking their page.
It’s the virtual age. But we are far from virtuous.

No longer do we look to people to nurture us.
We tune out any form of, higher purpose.

So we can focus on the who and the how
that we, don’t bother to live in the here and the now
so we, spend our days not making a sound
when we, could, be living our lives, and singing out loud.
Repping the stage and making everyone proud.

We update, and text.
And all we care about is,
what comes up next, on net-flix.

See. We’re no longer sociable, approachable,
leaving home without your phone seems, non negotiable.
We’ve lost our skills, unaware of what really kills us is
everything that we think thrills us.

But it’s ok cause there’s always tomorrow.

But tomorrow is a day that will never come.
We’ve only got today to get everything done.
Even so, we run and we run like a hamster on the wheel,
till we’re so tired and sore that we can’t even feel
that our life is passing us by.

Moment by moment.

So prince I hear you. It’s true.
More people need to look up at that
blue sky above us all. You gave us a clue.
A rule that we can all live by.
I just wanted to thank-you.

For pulling me away from my devices.
For reminding me that life is priceless.
To get back on santa’s naughty or nice list.
It’s the nicest thing someone can do.
And in return, I hope to spread the message.
So that more of us hear you.

That we live our lives.
That we pass this on to our husbands and wives.
And not worry about the size of our new TV.
So prince, I just wanted to thank you.
For what you did for me.

I ask you this one question…

What do you fear most?

Have you ever thought about it? REALLY thought about it? Go ahead…

What do you fear most? Is it spiders or snakes? Heights or small spaces? Or is it something deeper like being alone? Not finding love? Letting your parents or your kids down? Not being able to provide for those you love? Are you afraid to fail? Are you afraid if you succeed?

I’ll tell you where this question comes from.

A couples months back I was doing a small film project for a friend of mine’s competitive business group. We had limited time to produce a two min team introductory video that would be played on the main stage at the opening of the competition. All eyes were on me to deliver this video that would be seen by thousands of students, teachers, and business representatives. Immediately I felt the pressure and leaped into fifth gear. The project began with three fast-paced and chaotic days to shoot followed by a voiceover recording session. Our whole idea hinged on this audio delivery and with a student budget we were stretching all of our resources to the brink to deliver the best quality we could muster. We began recording the twenty-three year old man he opened with a couple of good takes but we needed perfection. Then, during a great delivery he suddenly paused and looked up at the three of us in the room and calmly asked us, “Can I ask you all a serious question? What do you fear most?” The room went dead.

We were all caught so off-guard we weren’t sure what to say. We stopped recording and remained quiet until answers slowly started pouring out of us. “Not getting to be a dad,” one said. “Not finishing my degree and disappointing my parents,” said the other. I remained silent, stunned at the fact that I had neither an answer I could proudly stand behind, nor the other half of that glorious voiceover. Then he shared the greatest answer I’d heard. It was exactly what I feared most. I am afraid of not reaching my full potential.

To be afraid of disappointing someone is fear of not realizing your potential. To fear not becoming a dad is being scared of not reaching your full potential. To not love, to fail, to die an early death… all of these cut our life short from what we believe we can become. And it is when we let our fear get the best of us, let it control our lives, that we sell ourselves short of what we can become. Fear is a powerful motivator. It keeps us alive in the most basic of ways; flight or fight. But it also keeps us alive when we choose to use it as a form of inner motivation.

The idea of living this life and not making the most of it terrifies me. It keeps me up at night… but it also kicks me out of bed each morning.

We should not strive to be fearless. Unafraid of anything. Fear is such a powerful motivator that to neglect it is not using all of our resources available to us. Those who are fearless tend to be reckless. Brash. They steam ahead, mind full of determination with a heart made of iron. But when we’re afraid, we stop to think. We consider the dangers, we calculate the outcomes. Finding this balance is one of the biggest tests we have in life; when should we stop to consider the risks, and when should we take a leap of faith?

Why most people die at 25 – Prince Ea

I don’t care about your age, your gender, your race. I don’t care about any of that stuff. What I do care about is you.

And what I do know, is that you have a dream inside of you. And that dream you have kept hidden from the world. You’ve made excuses for it. You’ve delayed it. You’ve listened to people tell you to “be realistic”. But deep down in your heart you know that you’re not living to your full potential. And life is now just something that you’re getting on with.

Where is the wealthiest place in the world? Do you know? It’s not China. It’s not Dubai.

It’s in the graveyard.

Because in the graveyard, you will find inventions never invented. Businesses never erected. Songs never sung, books never written. Ideas never nurtured, people never realized because they were scared… to take a risk. Scared like you.

But you want to know something else? You’re not in a graveyard, yet.

We get one life, and every passing moment, we will never get back again. You will never read this blog with the same perspective again as you have now before you clicked it. There is no rewind button in life. I will never write this line the same way ever again. See this moment is so precious. We have to be here, we have to be in it. We have to make the most of it, we have to live our dreams now. Because they are possible.

6000 years ago man created the wheel. Only 6000 years ago. And if I may remind you the airplane is only 100 years old, there was no internet 50 years ago, no cellphones. So don’t sit here and tell me that everything that can be done, has been done, when we haven’t been here for very long. There are dreams, there are accomplishments that are waiting to be discovered that are waiting for YOU.

Hellen Keller was once asked “what on earth would be worse than being born blind?” She said, “it would be so much worse to be born with sight, but have no vision.”

Why can’t we have cures for every disease known to man? Why can’t we have clean water, food, education for every person on this planet? Why can’t we have peace on this planet? Why do we have to die to go to heaven? The earth is already in space.

Because somebody said it’s impossible? It can’t be done? I’ll tell you this; there’s never been a statue erected for a critic. Everybody tells you how to do what they never did.

Moral of the story is do you, be you. Don’t worry about other people, live your life. Live your greatness.

It’s said the average person dies at 25 but is buried at 75. You know what that means? I’ll let you figure it out.

Don’t let this negative world get to you. Don’t let it win.

– Prince Ea

What do you desire – Alan Watts

What do you desire? What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like? Let’s suppose, I do this often in vocational guidance of students, they come to me and say, well, “we’re getting out of college and we have the faintest idea what we want to do”. So I always ask the question, “what would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?” Well, it’s so amazing as a result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way. Or another person says well, I’d like to live an out-of-doors life and ride horses. I said do you want to teach in a riding school? Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do?

When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.

And after all, if you do really like what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what it is, you can eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way to become a master of something, to be really with it. And then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much.

Somebody is interested in everything, anything you can be interested in, you will find others who will. But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like, in order to go on spending time on things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow in the same track.

See what we are doing, is we’re bringing up children and educating them to live the same sort of lives we are living. In order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing, so it’s all wretch, and no vomit it never gets there.

And so, therefore, it’s so important to consider this question:

What do I desire?

– Alan Watts