Matching the Needs & Wants – A lesson from The POND…

“We Ask GOD What We WANT… HE Gives Us What We NEED…”  Goes the saying

Our wants are many and so are our needs. The problem arises when our wants do not match our needs.

We may want to party and have fun and frolic with all our near and dear ones. But, if the body is not fit and healthy enough, we end up falling sick and are forced to take rest. Here we may WANT to party, but the body NEEDS Rest.

One may want to participate in Olympics and win a Gold Medal. But, due to various other distractions, if he had not prepared enough to face the competition he may lose out. Enough practice and preparation is the need here, while the distractions are the wants.

There obviously is a mismatch between the need and want in both the above situations. In the first situation there is a direct mismatch between the actual want and need. The second situation is actually a mismatch between two wants/ 2 different aspirations having different needs – Olympic medal required preparation while other smaller wants (like having fun time, etc.,) diverted the time away from practice and preparation for the medal.

This situation would arise due to several reasons

  1. When we are not aware or clear about our aspirations
  2. When we are clear about our aspirations but are unaware about the needs that are required to fulfill the same.
  3. When we do not prioritize our aspirations and work for the ones that are more important and closer to our heart.

If we do not prepare enough to get what we need, we will have to prepare ourselves to accept what we get.

Thus, when there is a mismatch between our needs and wants… it would lead to mental stress and unrest within. Modern day education had helped develop technology make giant leaps that could create many comforts and pleasures for man to enjoy and lead a comfortable life. But it had miserably failed to instill the requisite wisdom in people to realise the above… the result… most people have all the above reasons in different proportions to cause stress in their life. This helps – antidepressant medication and stress-release programs to thrive. These are reactionary answers to the problem. They generally do not address the root cause and would result in resurgence of the problem again, after a while…

A proactive answer for this can be obtained from the stillness in a pond.

The pebbles and stones at the base of a pond can be likened to our aspirations and needs. In a clear pond, we shall be able to distinctly see them, identify and take those that are actually important to us. The fishes are like the other attractions (distractions) that will divert our attention.

If we are clear in our mind, we shall be able to easily see the seeming attractions as distractions simply ward them away from our path and take hold of the pebbles at the bottom.

A dirty pond with marshy water is like a disturbed mind. In which case we are able to see neither the distractions nor the needs clearly. In such a confused state we end up assuming whatever we are able to lay hands upon as our needs and end up getting them. Later on we realise what we need is something else and restart our search. But the water is still disturbed and unclear and we thus end up in a continuous cycle of searching… a continuous mismatch of needs and wants and gets… a life that is full of stress.

The need in such a situation is to stop searching and let the water become still. More murkier the water, more is the effort and time required to let the water become clear. Dispassionate visualisation of the day’s events before going to bed, Meditation, Daily journal are some of the methods, when practiced over time, that can help us to still our mind… The key here is patience, perseverance and consistency in the effort till we get the results… The practice will be more effective when learned systematically under an expert, who can customize the practice based on the need of the person concerned.


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