Needs, Wants, and Values

There Is No One Else Like You.

need-or-wantYou are special, unique, and original. If all that is true, then why in the world do we strive so very hard for most of our lives trying to look and act like everyone else? We spend more time attempting to reinvent ourselves rather than getting to know ourselves. That is just plain wrong! I encourage you to get to know yourself. Examine your needs, your wants and your values. Knowing these three things about yourself will accelerate your journey to your destiny!

Needs are conditions, things, and feelings that you must have to be satisfied in life, to be content, to experience fulfillment and what some would even call finding happiness. Often, needs are the things that must be met before you can really “get on” with life. When we have unmet needs, we tend to get stuck in a rut of a particular behavior or thought pattern and are more susceptible to being sad, depressed, angry, or resentful. What do you need to motivate you to be and do all you were created for? What do you need in place in order for you to do your best, to never quit, and never give up? What do you need to fight for your true identity and destiny? Take some time to journal your answers.

Wants are distinct from needs. Wants are conditions, things, or experiences that you feel would optimize your life. Wants, just like needs, can be the motivator that gets you out of bed every day! The things you want, when processed with your Creator, can give you a glimpse into the destiny you have been created for. Define your wants and then review periodically. What do you want out of life? What do you want to be your legacy?

Values are strong foundational beliefs that anchor our lives. They are the nonnegotiable characteristics that best describe who we are and what we live for. Think about where you spend most of your time and effort. When are you the happiest and most fulfilled? Examine what frustrates you. Frustration can sometimes show you where your life is out of balance and how you’re lacking the very things you value. Have you ever considered what you value? What is most important to you in life? What is non-negotiable and why?

I encourage you to spend the time and make a careful assessment of who you are analyzing these three things. It takes time but the investment will pay huge dividends—to you and to those waiting for you to be you.

 

It is Your Choice

I have read numerous books written by professional counselors, therapists, and psychologists who specialize in human behavior stating the following, which I have paraphrased:

 

You must change the way you think

before you can change the way you feel,

which ultimately changes how you choose to act!

school_choiceOur mind is truly the battlefield over which our emotions, our actions, and our reactions are produced. I am in the camp that believes and holds to the truth that thoughts then produce emotions, and emotions produce our choices (i.e. our behaviors and actions).

Typically, I am someone who likes everyone I meet. Several years ago, I met a woman and had an instant, incredible, passionate dislike for her. I could not describe what I felt because it made no sense. She was an encourager and champion of the underdog, but I couldn’t stand her. The craziest thoughts would pop into my head about her. I spent hours rehearsing conversations with her that never took place.

When I was forced to be around her, I masked my disdain by slapping a smile on my face and faking a friendship with her. When I wasn’t around her I criticized her every move. I know! I was awful! I finally had to sit myself down and analyze my thoughts and emotions. Immediately, I had a crazy thought: Write her a note telling her that I was praying for her every day and the ministry she was overseeing. I didn’t “feel” like it, and I certainly had no “logical” reason for doing so. Yet I chose to do just that.

Every time one of these crazy thoughts or emotions popped into my head about this woman, I would counter them with “positive thoughts” about her. To my utter amazement, over the next few weeks, my entire thought life and emotions toward this woman changed. We became great friends and partners. This was an amazing lesson during my journey of purpose. I can change how I feel by simply changing my thoughts. I have the power of choice to do just that. I shudder to think where I would be in my own journey of destiny had I not realized when I control my thoughts, a different feeling is produced which causes a different choice.

You have a unique purpose. Choose to believe it and eventually you will feel it.

Your Feelings May Not Be Telling You The Truth.

We Must Learn To Act Out Of Who
We Are And Not What We Feel.

Dear mighty warriors and righteous girlfriends, we should never base our beliefs, our truth, and certainly NOT OUR CHOICES or actions on our feelings! Yes, we are emotional beings; we all “feel.” But to base your value, your self-worth, and your choices on your feelings it is a recipe for disaster.

In the last twenty-four hours, I have probably “felt” countless emotions: some pleasant and some not-so-pleasant, some based on the reality of a situation, and some based on my inaccurate perception. Thus feelings cannot be trusted to make decisions! And they are not good indicators of reality.

In fact, there are times that feelings have nothing to do with truth but with our perception or inaccurate perception of a situation. They should not be trusted, nor should they be the basis and/or justification for our decisions, our actions, and our behaviors! So many times, I have heard people use their “feelings” as an excuse to not move forward into their destinies. Feelings are deceitful! That might be a news flash for some of you.

But wait a minute: if our emotions and thoughts are not to be trusted, if our “heart” it not to be relied on, then what do we base our choices and actions on? Simple. They are based on “truth.” What is really happening in a given situation. What is really going on inside of you that is causing you to act or react. We need to be truthful—gut honest—with ourselves if we want to begin to rule over our emotions instead of them ruling over us.

Quite honestly, it doesn’t matter if you “feel” like you are a water-walking, giant-slaying, history-making person; you need to begin to act like it! Over and over, as I study this topic of emotions and feelings, I am convinced and have seen overwhelming evidence that we have power to make choices in spite of how we feel.

We do not have to be victimized by our emotions, our feelings, or our circumstances! Nothing changes until we change how we think about something. We must stop acting out of our emotions and resolve to be and do in spite of how we feel or the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Destinies are at stake. Your destiny is at stake. Choose how you think about something. If you change your thoughts, you change your emotions which will result in different behaviors

Make a Careful Assessment of You.

“Hide not your talents.

They for use were made.

What’s a sundial in the shade?”
– Benjamin Franklin

 

I once discovered a verse in the Bible that gave me great pause. It went something like this – make a careful assessment of who you are, then figure out what you are to be doing, then just do it. Reading those words caused me to realize I had been asking the wrong question! Instead of asking what, I should have been asking who! In my journey of purpose, I came to discover knowing who I am must proceed what I am to be doing. Discovering my true identity proceeds fulfilling my destiny. I needed some help in this area also.

 

Here are some of my very favorite self assessments. Each were a huge help in discovering me. I highly recommend them to assist you in making a careful assessment of who you are!

* StrengthsFinder

 

This is one of my very favorite assessment tools because it focuses on your natural strengths instead of your weaknesses; it uncovers what you have instead of what you don’t. Tom Rath shows you how to develop these raw strengths into excellence, but you must buy the book to get the code to take the computerized assessment.

* The Enneagram

 

Another of my favorite assessments is The Enneagram. It is a tool that has been particularly valuable to me in understanding myself and my default reactions. There is a separate online test at www.enneagram.com. Here is an excerpt from the website:

 

Everyone emerges from childhood with one of the nine types dominating their personality, with inborn temperament and other prenatal factors being the main determinants of our type. Subsequently, this inborn orientation largely determines the ways in which we learn to adapt to our early childhood environment.

* Five Love Languages

 

When we have been loved well, we can love well. For me to be and do all I am created to, my emotional tank must be filled. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages will help you learn your love language and the love language of everyone in your life. It is the most amazing tools in assessing myself and my emotional needs. But it also was instrumental in improving my relationships and those I love. Generally, we tend to love others in the way we long to be loved. In his book, Gary not only assesses your own love language but teaches you to love others in their love language.

 

These tools will help you make a careful assessment of you so you can begin the journey to your water walking, giant slaying, history making purpose. Just do it!

A Healthy Challenge

Our Body Is The Outward Part of who we are.

 

It is the part of us that we and everyone else can see and touch. It is our eye color, our hair color, our height, and our weight. Each body is an amazing, unique creation. Once I began to believe I had a water walking, giant slaying, history making destiny I was faced with the question: “How in the world am I ever going to carry out my purpose in this life if I am tired, lethargic, and overweight?” My answer came quickly and simply—I won’t! I can’t! And that was simply unacceptable. My dad inspired me to get moving – quick!

 

As I type these words, he is in Africa, feeding widows and orphans. He is seventy-seven years old and has been to Africa eight times within the last eight years. He has built a church by hand, planted so many gardens I have lost count, dug water wells (again by hand), walked for miles in the bush and up mountains just to talk with his Creator and love on some of who he believes are God’s favorite people – African children My dad is walking on water and smack dab in the middle of his destiny. My dad can do all of this because he has taken care of his body every day of his life. At seventy-seven, he can’t just rely on a good gene pool! He has practiced his entire life good stewardship of his body. He exercises like crazy no matter the weather outside. He eats healthy and maintains a positive attitude. He doesn’t make excuses. He never blames anyone and takes responsibility for his own health and life.

 

I found I must do the same to be and do all I am created to. But I needed some help – some accountability. It was scary and definitely took courage to step on a scale and let someone see the number! I thought I would die of embarrassment. But I didn’t and you won’t either. If like me, you need help in this area, call someone who loves you and tell them of your commitment. Ask them to hold you accountable in a very practical way. Have them call you and ask you if you exercised each day. Keep a food journal and read it to them daily. Find other ways to be accountable to your partner. You can have victory in this area of your life! You must if you are going to run the race prepared for you. Someone is waiting for you to be you. Don’t let them down. Don’t let your weight or health keep you from doing all you were created to.

 

My prayer for you today is that you will have the faith to believe you can have victory in this area of your life. I long for you, and for me, to choose to believe we are fearfully and wonderfully made as we take responsibility for the care and good stewardship of our bodies. I want you to have all the strength and energy required to be and do all God created you for. Take courage!