Hamster Wheel

It’s easy to think
that the things
other people want us to do
are more important
than what we want to do.

It can seem
that doing what we want to do
is selfish and bad
while doing what others want us to do
is altruistic and good.

And yet,
we are the proverbial “other people”
to somebody else.

May we pause
to deeply wonder
what it is we’re doing
and ask ourselves
the wonderous question
of “why?”

Why have we prioritized
certain tasks
over others?

May we live life
as the wonderous
and paradoxical
that it is
of merely a series of problems
to be solved
our lives
can easily turn into something
to a hamster wheel.

Our Need to Matter

One of the most difficult
and important need to manage
is our need to matter.

It is an existential need
that taps directly into our sense of self-worth.

Few are willing to admit to this need being a major driver.

Some admit to this in a roundabout way
by saying “I’m going to prove them wrong,”
which is a response to people who violated our need to matter.

Most will brush off the existence of this need
by emphasizing other needs
such as the need to contribute,
which is deemed more “altruistic,”
thus more acceptable and in alignment
with our desire to retain a self-image
of a “good” person.

Our need to matter
can serve as a powerful motivator to achieve something,
because achieving that thing may seem like the way to matter,
thus empowering us to persevere in the most difficult of times.

At the same time,
it can also blind us to behaviors that conspire against us.
Behaviors that, in hindsight, were excessive.
Behaviors we later regret.
Behaviors that may even cost us our lives
or lead to the demise of everything we’ve worked hard to build.

Our need to matter is a double-edged sword.

May we manage it
and manage well.