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October 14, 2020

All Problems Are Just Unmet Needs

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We go through many problems in our lives, from massive life shifting news to minor inconveniences, but there’s something that all of these problems have in common - They are simply unmet needs.

A problem is something that you are experiencing or going up against that is preventing you from a desired result in your life. That desired result is simply a standard you’ve set about how you want your needs to be met. It’s an expectation for a life balance, an equilibrium that we feel most comfortable in as it pertains to our survival, safety, sense of belonging, sense of self-worth, and sense of fulfillment. You may have noticed I just listed a version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Many problems are just the superficial representation of a more deeply rooted need, and we often come upon incorrect solutions to those problems because they are addressed at a superficial level. 

For example, let’s say you’re having an issue with a friendship because your friend has flaked on you a few times in a row. On the surface this may be perceived as a problem that your friend no longer values the relationship, and your solution could be to push away out of self-preservation, providing an immediate solution to the problem. But that would only bring you further from meeting the need that is being compromised, your desire for love and belonging, which could be maintained if you chose to be empathetic and understand on a deeper level what is motivating the problem.

I encourage you to think more about the problems in your life and how that might relate to your basic human needs.


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