Desires pretending to be needs

Last week Seth Godin wrote a blog that was short enough and good enough that I won’t bother trying to paraphrase:

Habits are not needs

It’s easy to imagine that they are, as it lets us off the hook as habits become negative, or even addictions.

If someone else is thriving without the habit we seem to need, then it’s likely a desire pretending to be a need.

For example: You can be a successful professional without spending time on social media.

So what are some money-related examples of “habits are not needs”? Maybe if we name them out loud it will be easier to let go of the ones that keep us from financial peace and perhaps a better life in general. Here are a few from my coffee-addled brain:

  • For example: You can be a successful investor without watching CNBC, obsessing over your portfolio, or making compulsive changes to your investment strategy.
  • For example: You can live a full, generous life without matching the lifestyles of your socio-economic peers.
  • For example: You can create contentment and joy without turning “treat yourself” into a lifestyle (because it is a one-way ticket to boredom and malaise).

Maybe you can think of some others–I’d love to hear them if you do! We all have our blindspots, and sometimes the flashlight of another is all we need.


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Jared Korver
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A product of small-town North Carolina (Carthage, to be exact), I’m proudly married to my best friend and co-adventurer, Amy. Together, we have two sons–Miles and Charlie–and could more or less start a library from our home. I love being outside, can’t read enough, am in the habit of writing haikus, and find food and coffee to be among life’s greatest treasures.