Is life Pointless? Want or Need, Can’t or Don’t Want to

Discussion in 'Strategies for Success' started by JmpMster, May 20, 2015.

  1. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    There are a lot of really important words that make a huge difference in life and happiness and the ability of an individual to find meaning and satisfaction and a point to living. Sadly, they get interchanged as if they were synonyms, or completely left out of many conversations. This combination of misuse and omission turns problems with solutions into vast impenetrable fortresses of despair and depression that make motivation and action impossibilities no less daunting than walking barefoot on the sun.

    The complete misuse of the word "need" when the correct word is “want” and the word “can’t” when a person really means “don’t want to” causes individuals to be grounded in despair because of a preconditioned feeling of impossibility that is not based in fact. “I can’t talk to women/men” or “I can’t move out from parents” as examples of things that are nearly always a “I do not want to” because one is uncomfortable emotionally and makes you embarrassed or anxious and one may be difficult as it means will need to get a job and work to be able to afford to live, or take on a roommate as examples.

    Uncomfortable for most (nearly all) people? Absolutely. Cannot as in impossible? No, absolutely not impossible, simply a choice. When you phrase it correctly as the choice it is it allows the mind to consider it correctly as a choice rather than gaining in proportion until it is a trap so impossible to escape it seems death is the only way out.

    When things are a choice as most things really are, people retain some control of a situation and that maintaining control makes most things at least tolerable. Many situations involve choosing between the lesser evil or making a decision where none of the options are really desirable- but it is still better than no control at all- which is what happens as soon as can’t is substituted for don’t want to.

    Needing something and wanting something are a similar mental trap, though even more often used incorrectly. In reality the list of needs for a human being are very minimal in the short term and not really extensive in the long term even. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the popular cult psychology reference and does an adequate job of discussing what needs are and even defining some things as needs that might not meet the standard for imminent death if lacking but still a genuine need for overall wellbeing in the long term. If unfamiliar it is certainly worth a glance anyway though most psychologist agree the 1970 expanded version to be more of an idealism than actual need and it would vary hugely from culture to culture to culture.

    Skipping over all the pop psychology though it is easy to identify a want from a need. People need shoes is a reasonable statement in the western modern world, while want Air Jordan’s might be a simple example. In the depressed mind it is easy to decide there are a huge list of needs that can never be met, and since the list is so long and they will never be able to meet all of them what is the point in continuing? This trap can be dismissed easily if taken item for item and asked is it genuinely something that is NEEDED as in the process or plan cannot proceed in any manner, or is it something the person wants to make the plan easier or more comfortable to complete?

    As an example, you need a place to sleep to be safe and warm to move out, you want $10k saved before moving so you can pay rent and deposits, buy whole apartment of furniture, get a car, and so on etc., etc. The items you "need" to make a change are far easier to acquire than the items you "want" to make the same change. Similar to the can’t / don’t want to, this substitution of need for wants puts up impossible to complete tasks that ensure no action is ever undertaken in the depressed mind as you will never possibly acquire everything “needed” to make a substantial change in position or life style. Since it makes it seem impossible to finish, it makes it pointless to even start. If it is impossible anyway, the person does not even look for solutions anymore and gives away all control. Once again, after all control is lost it seems the only way to control things is to choose death as a manner of control. Humans do not do well with no sense of control in the long term, and if they cannot control anything then it does make life seem pointless as their actions apparently have no effect.

    This loss of control based on the incorrect substitution of “need” for “want” is however a complete lie. It even feeds into the next lie in response to why have no changes been made when they respond “Can’t” when really it is purely a case of “don’t want to “ because something they wanted but did not need has not materialized. This cycle continues until the needs can never be met and they can’t ever change any situation. All because human nature compounded by depression makes a couple of tiny words that control all and results in inaction. That inaction results in the situation that is intolerable becoming unending as well.

    If while making a list of problems and solutions a person conscientiously looks at all the problems and then makes careful use of want and need and can’t or don’t want to suddenly the self-proclaimed careful analytical thought process that resulted in the determination that suicide the best solution falls apart. It also makes clear that choices are yours to make and you are in control of most situations and may make life seem far less pointless.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2015
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Thanks for this post it is funny how words when used can trap a person into a way of thinking

    One always has a choice always for sure Just if they want it bad enough or not I came from a world of impossibilities but i made things happen because i wanted them to happen and worked hard nothing come easy or for free nothing
  3. Cicada 3301

    Cicada 3301 Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Thank you for this, it is very well written. I tried explaining to someone recently that they are confusing a want with a need and how it is only furthering their hurt, but they did not understand.

    I have never really considered Maslow's work outside the fields of business and hrm. I have always felt it applies really well to employees and businesses. I'm not sure if you will care much for this post but Maslow's hierarchy of needs model and findings are somewhat overused in my studies, so I thought I would add my thoughts on that part.

    In order to improve production through employee performance, the factors that affect motivation must first be considered. This may be best done by considering Abraham H. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model (1943) which explained that self-actualisation, esteem, belongingness and love, safety, and physiological needs are all motivational factors which can directly affect the production and overall satisfaction of the workforce. The model attests that employees are motivated by this hierarchy in a bottom to top fashion, therefore: physiological, safety and solidarity needs were more important and should be met before esteem and self-actualisation needs are considered. Maslow examined how certain factors are needed above others to motivate an employee to higher performance. However, he also discovered that if certain factors or incentives are absent, it can create dissatisfaction among employees (Maslow, A. H., 1943).

    Frederick I. Herzberg’s two factor theory of motivation (Herzberg, F. I., Mausner, B. and Snyderman, B. B., 1959) correlated heavily with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with many factors being similar. Herzberg found that money, while playing an important role in the motivation and retention of employees was not the key incentive for the labour force. Factors such as: sense of achievement, reputability, good work groups and personal fulfilment are at the core of an individual’s intrinsic motivation to work (Herzberg et al. 1959).

    Anyway, that's a small snippet compiled from a couple of essays I have done recently on Maslow and Herzberg. I've always characterised the first two - physiological and safety as actual needs, while the other 3 are arguably more "wants".
  4. Bruces

    Bruces Well-Known Member

    I'm driven by materialistic things and I know that's wrong but can't seem to yet my mindset,I often think when I see children in 3rd world countries that are happy and smiling,I wonder how they can be so happy,I sometimes think if you live in a situation where everybody has nothing then it takes away the whole envy thing? I live in an area where there is quite a few wealthy people and I pass their houses and expensive cars and feel envy,but if your in an area where everybody has nothing then does that take away the envy? Just a thought that's all
  5. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Thanks TE, and yes as soon as the "I can't" becomes a regular part of a persons vocabulary or is overused in situation it really does become a trap where they begin to believe they genuinely cannot do things that they could do if they chose to. Depression is good at pushing that lie of all the things a person "can't do" and all the things a person "needs" in order make a situation appear hopeless.

    I tend to agree, though for long term well being the higher needs do become needs in my opinion. But clearly those needs are not being met if a person is suicidal either, so sometimes one needs to look at the minimums to survive (including not commit suicide) and work from that basis to determine what is a need as opposed to what they want in the long term to make that long term goal of happiness possible to achieve. Sometimes a situation has to change for that to happen because without any action nothing will change.