No one wants to be thought of as needy, but we all have needs. Some needs are basic and easy to admit and address. We all need food and relationships with others. These needs are obvious and for the most part are attended to by most people. It’s the needs that we ignore that cause us the most damage, and few needs are as overlooked as the following two:
The Need for Order:
Each person on the planet was born with a need to move things from a disorganized state to one that is more organized. Most of our lives are spent trying to bring order out of the chaos around us. As a society, we design roads, implement laws, and build neighborhoods. At home we weed our flower beds, discipline our children, and throw outdated food out of the refrigerator. All of these things are our attempts to restore order. We were made to order things and will experience a great deal of frustration and anxiety when we don’t. Order allows our minds an unobstructed view of whatever it needs to focus on. An organized structure to our lives gives us clarity, and clarity is the primary catalyst of motivation. Some of us are more ordered than others. Order doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the cans of food in the pantry are alphabetized and turned with their labels facing out. Everything in our lives does not have to be expertly ordered, but we must have some corner of our world that is organized and predictable for us to have peace. Your tool shed, your bookshelf, your daily planner, whatever that place is for you, keep it ordered, and you’ll have an anchor that allows you to take a deep breath and relax.
The Need to Understand:
We were all born with a natural sense of curiosity. Some people question everything and spend hours on Facebook and Instagram to see what everyone else is up to. Others like to pop the hood of their car when there’s a problem and dig around until they solve it. The desire to understand comes from a deep and legitimate need to make sense of our world. Personal growth is contingent on being exposed to things we do not understand. Our attempt to make sense of new people and ideas brings with it a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Our quest to understand our world and each other drives our hunger to learn, and learning drives our growth. People who do not explore their world in an attempt to gain greater understanding can often feel depressed and lethargic.
When it comes to understanding, extremes are dangerous. Feeling that we need to fully understand everything is exhausting and thankless. Also, it can lead you to try to demonstrate your vast understanding to others, and just a word or warning: people hate that! On the other extreme, it’s arrogant and shallow to feel that you now know and understand all that you will ever need to. Health comes when our understanding of the world around us grows a bit at a time. You can’t understand it all, but you can seek to understand more today than you did yesterday.
“A single moment of understanding can
flood a whole life with meaning.”
So, whether it’s cleaning out your closet or taking up a new hobby, take some time this week to address your very natural needs for order and understanding, you’ll be glad you did!