Two simple questions: What do I really need? Who needs me?
Recently, Seth Godin published a short post called "The ruby slippers problem." In this brief post he described that, in our culture, we are always looking to get more rather than focusing on what we have. His post has been on my mind since I read it a couple days ago.
Then, yesterday, my son was watching a video and I was listening in. The video was about happiness and why video games make you happy. He loved the idea of getting some validation for his favorite pastime. My interest was peaked by something else. The narrator was saying that studies have been done about people who win the lottery, and the fact is that they are no happier after winning the money than when they were broke.
I find myself on the hamster wheel sometimes, chasing what I don't have. Seth is right, that mentality is ingrained into our culture. In those times, I have to force myself to step back and answer those two simple questions. What do I really need? Who needs me?
I need my family and friends, the people I love. They would enjoy spending millions with me, but we don't need that. We need each other.
I need to take care of my body--eat right, sleep well, exercise.
I need inspiration in order to strive to be better every day. On days that it does not come from within me, I seek inspiration through the amazing people I work with, through my family and friends, through my PLN on social media, wherever I can find it when I need it. I also need to serve as that inspiration to others when they need it. I need to feel like I am making a difference for people, helping them.
I need to have fun, to laugh and enjoy life.
My family needs me. My colleagues and students need me, but they could find a good substitute for me. My family cannot replace me.
When I list out what I need and who needs me, I never find "things" in that list. I never find particular places. I can get what I need in a one room shack or in a luxury villa. It amazes me how simple life really is when you step back and take the forest view.
What do you need? Who needs you?
There's nothing wrong with getting, of course, as long as the process is in sync with the life you want to lead.