what do you need? 

self-portrait, oil on linen 24”x29”

self-portrait, oil on linen 24”x29”

Most people, when asked this question, answer “Money”. Or “Time”.

But it’s not the money, nor the time, that we really need. Usually we need something else – that might be bought with money or attained in time. Money/time is just one of the means, a tool, that helps us to fulfill certain needs.

So I’d like to ask a different question – to clarify what’s under the desire for money.  Notice that I didn’t use the word NEED. Because when we say we need money, we really mean that we want money in order to get something else that we need. What is it for you?

My question is: what do you want money for?

You might say: “I want money to buy a house”. 

And what does a house represent for you?  Security? Safety? Protection? 

“A place where I belong. A place I call home. A place where I can have a family” — you might say. And that takes you closer to your real need.

Let me show you how to uncover deeply seated needs: 

For many years I kept a car in New York City. I didn’t really need a car. In fact, having a car in Manhattan is a nuisance. But I kept it. Why? What was my real need for keeping a car in NYC? 

For me, the answer is easy: having a car fulfills my need for freedom. It gives me the illusionthat I am free to leave anytime. The illusion that I am free.  

I like driving. When I drive I feel free, happy and light. I like the movement, the flow, the speed, the road that disappears into the open mouth of the red beast I sit in. 

I like the sense of being in charge – holding the steering wheel puts me in charge.  I like that when I drive a car I am the one who makes the decisions. I am the one in charge. Some people like to ride, to sit in the back and relax in the comfort of having no responsibility to navigate through traffic and get somewhere on time. 

I love making my way through. I like to position my car right in relation to other drivers. I like finding my place into the puzzle of traffic. I love the road dance. I love speed. I love movement. I love the exhilarating sense of going somewhere, of getting closer to the goal, of moving through. I love the journey. AND I like the destinations when I reach them…

My need is for freedom. 

My need is to be in flow. 

My need is for expression – because I sing as I find my way.

My need is for feeling self-reliant.  This brings me joy. I feel happy when I know that I’m self-reliant. 

That’s why I kept a car in Manhattan. It’s an expensive way to feel joyful, happy and free.