Saturday, October 15, 2011

[WoD] Needs vs. Wants

Today's topic is about needs versus wants. What does this have to do with distractions you may ask. That's simple. Needs are the necessities in life, the things necessary to survive. Wants are just that. Stuff you desire. Sure, they would be nice to have, however you don't need them.

Put like that, it sounds awfully simplistic. I know. That's the way I like it. And we need to keep it like that because distractions themselves are very simple: either they win our attention or lose our attention. A great way to to explore this is to examine our own deepest desires and how they affect our attention.

I suggest doing a little exercise right now. Pull out a piece of paper or open up some sort of text document on your computer and make two lists: Wants and Needs. You can do this however you like as long as your needs are under Needs and your wants are under Wants. Heck, you can even make Venn Diagram for those pesky wants that are sneaking into your needs. Coffee would be one of those for me.

Have you made your lists yet? Mine looks something like this:


  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter

In Betweens:

  • Coffee
  • Goal: Write at least 1000 words a day
  • Goal: Get ready for NaNoWriMo
  • Goal: Win my war against distractions


  • Buy DVD: The Green Lantern
  • Buy DVD: Captain America
  • Watch TV: Dexter
  • Watch TV: Psych
  • To conquer and rule the world (Muahahaha! Kidding... Or am I?)
This list is not complete by a long shot, and neither is yours. What we do have down are the basics of basics covered in both categories. I even items in between. I think the best way to explain the in-between items is that they are items you desire so badly that you are obsessive about them now. Take my war on distraction for example: I am Captain Ahab and distractions are my Moby dick. I just hope I don't go down like he did. Actually, I take that back. I don't want to be Captain Ahab. I want to have fun with this.

Anyways, I'm going to keep adding to my want list and recommend you do the same. Until otherwise said, the items in our want list are distractions. You want them, yet you must resist them. Just for the next week at least. This will be a good exercise in training our willpower. Again keep adding to the list! We'll come back to it in a week.

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