The Question…

Are Needy?

Ok, so let’s recap as yesterday found you standing in the open mid day desert sun with no water or food and you been traveling on foot for a little over a day.  Your home work assignment was to answer a simple question, maybe even written a bit as a story problem as the “question” only starts out with “I” and your role is to fill out the remainder.  So how did you do, is your answer written down as if not please do so you won’t  fool yourself as our minds like to play tricks on us.

Ok to steal a line from the late great Richard Dawson of Family Feud fame, Survey says:

I need water

Is this what you wrote?  It is basically the answer I’ve gotten a thousand times over and matter a fact only twice did I ever get a different answer and only one was truly right.  So you’ve figured out this is the WRONG answer have you?  Well before we go there, you’re wondering about the lengthy story, in short it is to throw you off track as its long and detailed enough to move your interest away from beating the game to playing the game allowing for a true answer to emerge.

So why is this answer wrong, well let start with its double wrong?  To explain lets work backwards shall we, so off the bat is it really water that you’re after?  Question what will water give you?  Yes that’s right, “life” you want to live don’t you?  The point is its important to understand what we are “really” after because when we miss this, we limit ourselves and while this example takes us to the edge it happens every day us and it locks us into paradigms and ruts.   As you’re looking for “water” and I offer you a Coke ™ or other beverage you’re not going to take it to avoid death?  Again we are using the macro example to explain the micro point.

The next and the biggest is the word “need” throw it away never use it again and ban it from your vocabulary as how can you combine your “need” for trendy sneakers with your “need” for life?  Let’s look at the words “need” and “want” by visualizing them, as you think of each what to you see in your mind’s eye? Well let’s try some examples to help explain a little better:

Let’s start with the word “need” as in “Hey mom I [need] some new Nikes!”  or “Hey dad I [need] the car tonight”.  What do you get out of this word, does the phrase “needy” strike you as I refer to “need” as a push word in that when used people are seeking a hand out.  Needy people want someone else to push something to them rather them attaining it for themselves by pull it toward them.

Now let’s look at “want” as in “I want to get a job” or “I want to get a degree”, so what do you get out of this word?  Here the word “want” refers to as a “pull” word as people when using this word will want to “pull” results towards them rather than expecting others to push them hand outs. Average people need things, achievers want things as needing is simply the act of sitting around wishing for something to happen.

One of my tricks in reading people is noting the number of times they say “need” verses “want” in a conversation as it will tell you a lot about that person.   So what did we learn from our sub Saharan African adventure?

  1. Focus on the true goal which is typically big or bigger picture as the macro provides opportunity and the micro nothing but limits.
  2. Avoid the word “need” as it makes you “needy” and a push person, not a pull.  Its also worth noting that if you spend your life waiting for others to “push” something your way, you’re not going to get much out of life.
  3. You should strive to live your life as a “pull” person by reaching out to pull things toward you through achievement.

So as you go forward in your life from here on out, as a leader in your community, business and in society as a whole.  Keep these basic lessons at hand and you will be amazed at what you can pull in…


About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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