Wants Versus Needs: Know the Difference and be Happier

I contributed my second piece to the new legal website, ConstitutionalDaily.Com (read the first piece, about money and happiness, here). This one is about the difference between actually needing something versus simply wanting it. Below is an excerpt:

I am not what some people would call a “healthy thinker.” When alone, I live a life of distraction: computers, television, movies, sometimes books, and of course iPhones. I’m not technologically savvy by any means, but I rely on modern developments heavily. If left to my own devices, I think dark thoughts: death, failure, solitude, existential angst, aging, poverty, famine, war, crime, hate, how ugly I am, etc. And yet here I was, embarking on just under an hour of cognitive torture with nothing to prevent me from silencing my depressive-oriented brain.

Read the entire piece here.

P.S. If you have 5-10 minutes to spare, please consider helping out a bizarrely dedicated graduate student with her research (note: you must have either been in therapy or at least starting looking for a therapist at some point in your life to participate). Click here to be a good person, and thank you for helping her out.

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7 Responses to “Wants Versus Needs: Know the Difference and be Happier”

  1. A Girl says:

    Is that study US only? Options in the first question seem to indicate that you are focusing on America, but no where in the questionnaire are you asked where you are from.

  2. Rob Dobrenski says:

    I believe it is open to anyone.

  3. James says:

    It may be theoretically open to everyone, but it asks about whether I have completed high school, if I checked my therapist with the APA, etc – questions that are entirely irrelevant to me. It might also be worth noting that the questions aren’t applicable to people with nationalised healthcare.

  4. Researcher says:

    Thank you so much for the feedback! Theoretically, yes, the study is open to everyone; however it was designed by clinicians affiliated with an APA-accredited (US) institution, therefore some of the questions are indeed biased from a US perspective. Additionally, some questions may be irrelevant to any individual participant. To that end, the survey was designed so that questions may be skipped if found to be inapplicable.

    Again, thank you for the feedback and for your participation. It is greatly appreciated! Also, a big thanks to Rob for posting the study to his site!

  5. Annie says:

    Great article. I concluded I shouldn´t keep saying that I need to buy your book, but use the word want instead. 🙂

  6. dawn says:

    i completed the survey!