June 2014


Ensuring our needs are met allows us to act from our values.

We all have needs. Beyond our bodily needs such as water, food, and shelter, we have personal needs. We go through life trying to meet these needs whether consciously or unconsciously. Before we can ever operate from our values, we must meet our personal needs. Sometimes, we even act out of character to ensure that our needs are met. Working to meet our needs can leave us satisfied. Being able to act from our values leaves us fulfilled.

Meeting our needs is what pulls us through life. We seek out ways to meet our needs from the time we wake to the time we sleep. This constant focus on meeting our needs can distract our attention from living a more fulfilling life and being able to be more successful in our work. Needs tend to fall into two categories: healthy and unhealthy. Many of us are more aware of our healthy needs and less aware of the unhealthy. A healthy need may be something like wanting to be surrounded by positive people or engaging in a religious belief. Unhealthy needs are things like addiction and suffering. While addictions can be to substances, they can also be to things like drama, unhealthy people, and misery.

To meet our needs, we have to name them and call them out. This can be awkward and uncomfortable for many of us. It requires us to be vulnerable and open and for some it makes them feel inadequate. The truth is that needs are quite normal. We all have them. Many are unique to us. Talking about them and naming them help us to create ways to meet them consistently and healthily.

For some of us, we may need to say, "I need recognition." If recognition is a need then your focus is going to be on getting that need met. For example, let's say you turn in a project to your supervisor. You've worked hard on it and even stayed up late to ensure that it's done correctly. You give it to your busy supervisor and you wait. You wait. You wait. Your supervisor may have not even gotten to a point where she can look at it. Your focus is pulled away from anything else that you’re doing waiting on the recognition that you're craving. It will distract you in meetings, perhaps cause you to be short with your co-workers, and even procrastinate other tasks all while you wait on the recognition.

The secret to meeting that need consistently lies within you. Often times we can meet our needs for ourselves. Setting up a habit to honor and recognize yourself for work that you've done can help to establish a consistent and long term satisfaction of the need for recognition. When we recognize our needs, set up ways for them to be met, then we can move forward and operate from our values. This allows us to be present and consequently better integrated between work and life.