Thursday, December 28, 2006

Need - What is it and how does it effect our goals?

According to - need is defined as:
1. a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation
2. a lack of something wanted or deemed necessary
3. urgent want
4. necessity arising from the circumstances of a situation or case
5. a situation or time of difficulty
6. a condition marked by the lack of something requisite
7. destitution; extreme poverty
8. to have need of; require
9. to be under an obligation
10. to be in need or want
11. to be necessary

Take a moment and see if any of your goals could fulfill one of these definitions.

There is also Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - a very important psychological/behavorial perspective on the concept of needs:
Listed from most basic to highest level:
1) Physical survival needs - water, food, sleep, exercise...
2) Need for Safety and Security - physical, economic, comfort, peace
3) Social Needs - belonging, acceptance
4) Need for Self Esteem - recognition of strength, intelligence etc...
5) Need for Self Actualization - challenging projects

Maslow lists exercise as one of the basic needs - basic meaning until that level of need is fulfilled the other needs are of lesser importance or even that they are unable to be meet because of lack at the basic level.

So - if exercise is one of the basic needs as defined by Maslow and you were unable to find your goals a "home" under the definitions listed - do not wonder why your goal has been elusive.

So how do we create need? How do we shift from a want to a need?

The goal has to reach a level of personal significance that only you can know and/or change. Smokers will sometimes only quit when confronted with death from their habit. Others will quit because it has effected them socially (see Maslow's heirarchy), and still others will not quit regardeless of the consequences. So how a need like exercise fits into the equation can be a tricky area of investigation.

I can lay out for you the physical benefits and the psychological benefits (walking around strong) and even go beyond into more Eastern philosophy (movment of breath and energy) and it may trigger a "need response" or it may fall on the proverbial "deaf ears". Only you will know.

Where does motivation fall when needs are not being met or addressed? It isn't even on the heirarchy of needs if that helps put it in perspective. So if you are lacking in some basic needs how can you expect to be "motivated". (Sorry for the quick aside here but I figured someone would be wonder where this falls in the equation)

So - until your Needs are being met - your need for your goals will probably be lacking. Once your Needs are being met - your goals need to be come a need.
And all of that is inside you - I (and other exercsie professionals) can guide and assist - but we cannot generate need within you - only you can do that.

As we close out the year and begin a new one - take some time and introspection and try to define your hierarchy of needs and find a "home" for your goals as a definable need and see where it takes you in the new year.


Franz Snideman said...

Great Post Brett!

only people can generate that "need", not us as coaches. That is so true.

And it is amazing how similar our needs are as humans. With all our differences it truly boils down to a couple of key needs and how they are met.

Hope you had a great Christmas Brett!

Brett Jones said...

Thanks Franz,
Hope you and Yoana are doing great and had a great holiday season.

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