"What I Have is All I Need."

March 16, 2023

"What I Have is All I Need."

May 29, 2023

At the Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, an inscription appears on a 17th-century stone basin that is the title of today’s blog post.

Modern culture flips this wisdom into “What I Need is What I HAVE to Have.” For many of us, a need is a WANT that wasn’t satisfied within 48 hours. If psychologist Abe Maslow were still alive, he might have created a perilous Hierarchy of Wants that included fame, fortune, power, and image enhancement.

I think one of the marks of a wise person is their ability to distinguish between a want and a need and to realize that maturity isn’t defined by the pursuit of gratification but by the practice of gratitude. Happiness is wanting (or appreciating) what we have, not having what we want. Here’s my TED talk from 2010 on this topic.

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