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Need, Want and Desire

“You’re everything I need, want and desire.”

It's not rocket science. Needs, Wants and Desires can be easily met.What a romantic phrase. Perhaps it’s been uttered beyond romance novels as pillow talk, but I’m betting it’s not commonly deconstructed to find a path to simple living. Be prepared, because knowing what you need, want and desire can actually lead to a better life.

Needs are actually pretty basic. We need food and water. We need clothing and shelter. And, we need the means to acquire these things. There are also emotional and intellectual needs, but we are going to silo those for the moment. The needs I speak of are the bare bone basics.

Kind of jarring isn’t it? It’s meant to be. I like to think of basic needs as a foundation. Notice they don’t include a lot of what might be considered comfort items, like soap for instance. This leads us to the Wants category.

When thinking of the things we Want, our first thought might be comfort. We don’t necessarily need to be clean for example, but it is definitely more comfortable to be. We don’t need entertainment but extra stimulation can provide diversions that bring us mental comfort.

Things we want for the sake of comfort are worth the extra effort it takes to have them.  But identifying comfort also requires a large amount of personal honesty. Some would swear that comfort comes with extravagance. It doesn’t.  It is true that adequate shoes may keep our feet comfortable for example, but they needn’t cost thousands of dollars.

Comfort should be judged by the absence of discomfort, and discomfort is identified by our own tolerance and personal fortitude. Seeking comfort is normal. Seeking comfort with absolute honesty takes some practice. I tend to ask myself, “Can I make do with what I have?” More often than not, the answer is yes, and that affirmation can go a long way. It feels good to be satisfied with what I have.

Once needs and wants are identified, we can start to consider Desires.  After all it’s nice to have nice things.

Desires can meet needs and wants, but they go beyond that. Desires provide emotional satisfaction, often on a temporary basis. Desires that go beyond needs, beyond the comfort of wants, tend to gain a life of their own. Sure you may want a toaster, and desire a Hello Kitty toaster, but if that desire gets away from you, you might find your entire kitchen profits Sanrio. When considering things you desire consider how long that emotional satisfaction will last.

This means when you acquire things that go beyond needs and wants, be sure you know why you really desire them. It’s okay to meet an emotional need with a desire. What’s not ok, is to use desires as a primary source for personal satisfaction.

Excess in any form may not necessarily fill Wants and Desires. Wanting more than you need, and desiring more than you actually want creates more Want and Desire. But, knowing what will bring you genuine comfort and what will meet your needs can help to curate life that is truly satisfactory. Who doesn’t want that?

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Filed under asides, Philosophy, Simple Life

A Declaration for Clarity

Life for me is changing. The original purpose of this blog was to write about digital communications, something that still interests me greatly. I used this blog to share information I learned and to drum up business for my own consulting services.

But, life for me has changed. For the last four years I’ve acquired a changeling existence with the San Francisco Bay Area, making it increasingly difficult to keep up my consulting services. I haven’t given it up all together, but Communications Consulting is no longer the focus of my occupational life.

Instead, I’ve taken to a different endeavor: a simpler life. I am currently inclined to strive for a life that includes fewer things, more living, and thus less stress. I want to owe less, own less, and enjoy the simple things more.

This blog will continue, but dear reader, but you will find that the subject of what brings me clarity has evolved. Communication is grand, but so is a thoughtful, meaningful life.  Stay tuned and enjoy this next adventure with me.

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Filed under asides, Projects, Updates

The New Basics

back-to-basics-social-media-marketingOn of the great things about being a Digital Communications blogger is that there’s always something new to write about. I’d like to say that the “Basics” never change in communications, and maybe they don’t. But, things change quickly in this field, and what was a new concept maybe a year ago, is now simply a requirement of keeping up with this world.  Here’s a few examples:

OLD BASIC – You’ve Got To Have a Website

That’s very true. Websites are a given now. In fact in the United States, many people simply don’t think of you as being legit without one. But, the kind of website you have makes a difference too. Having some sort of Blog component that is updated regularly is also essential for a couple of reasons. The first is fresh content will keep folks coming back to your site to see what’s  new. But secondly and more importantly, fresh, relative content also helps with SEO (you know that Google/Bing/Yahoo thing) that will keep your site relevant in web searches.

OLD BASIC – A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

As a writer, I can say this is 100% true. As a Digital Communications Specialist however, I’m here to tell you that pictures are not enough. First, let’s talk Meta Data. Did you know that the Internet is blind? That’s right. It can only see what you tell it to see, and the way it does that is through Meta Data. Meta Data is the background information that you add to media, you know,  pictures and videos. It usually consists of the file name, a title, a description and maybe a caption. If you do not tell the, ever so wise, Internet what you’re putting out there, it will have no idea, and thus your media will not be findable.

Now, besides the Meta Data, actual content is not a crime. Now I know in this age of all things pictures thanks to sites like Instagram and Pinterest, it’s easy to think that the picture is enough. But, if you are trying to reach a wider audience, always be sure to write a caption or some sort of description to go with your images. Ultimately what you want is a hook that will entice the view to want to know more, click the pic, and go to your website.

OLD BASIC – Everyone is on Facebook 

It does seem that way, doesn’t it? In a matter of 5 short years, Facebook is as ubiquitous as the internet itself. So, yes having a Facebook page is super important. But even more important is keeping it updated. Once a day is great if you can hack it, but do more than simply posting a pic. Use Facebook as an opportunity to tell an ongoing story. The whole point of Facebook, besides massive data collection, is to share things with your friends. If you are using Facebook for a business or project think of that audience as your friends as well. Keep them up to date with what you are working on, what excites you about your work, about the process. A friend of mine who recently started a flower business does a great job of this. Take a look at what she is doing and see how that might work for you.

OLD BASIC – You Must Be on Social Media

Of course you must be on Social Media, but maybe not all of it. There area literally thousands upon thousands of options for your Social Media time investment. While Facebook, I’m sorry to say, is a given, choose your other Social Media outlets wisely. Consider who your audience is and where they spend their time. Then cross post. If you have a Pinterest, cross post some items to Facebook, to let people know you’re there. The same can be said for Tumblr or Instagram and don’t forget your Meta Data here too!

There’s more to all of this of course: message, engagement, and the all important click count. This is just a start of things I will discuss here that are simply now the New Basics.

 

 

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Filed under asides, Consulting, Simple Life, Tools