010: Three Little Words That Can Mess up Your Life (Part 2) — Need

In this second part of a miniseries on the words we say to ourselves that create tension and distress, today’s word is “Need.” Today we talk about:

  • The psychological theories of needs, which are in fact theories of human motivation.
  • Byron Katie’s radical approach to needs.
  • Buddhist notions of taṇhā (thirst) and chanda (wholesome desire).
  • The fallacy of speaking in terms of absolute needs.
  • How to use the word “need” in a relative context.


  • Semantic Method — replacing “need” with “It would be nice if…” or “I would prefer it if…” and remembering that the use of the word “need” implies the subordinating conjunction “in order to” (relative contextualization).

See Also

  1. A theory of human motivation (1943), by Abraham Maslow
  2. Self-Determination Theory (2008), by Edward Deci & Richard Ryan
  3. Loving What Is (2001), by Byron Katie

Music: Night on the Docks – Sax by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4129-night-on-the-docks—sax
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

One thought on “010: Three Little Words That Can Mess up Your Life (Part 2) — Need

  1. I appreciate all of your knowledge and desire to teach the public. It is definitely needed and I will spread the good word of your work. I especially appreciate the real examples and worksheets that are available. I have followed you with Dr. Burns as well and I really enjoy how you weed out most important basics. Thank you for your service to humanity!


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