Need, Want, Desire, Goal vs Purpose with Examples

Updated: 2 days ago

Definitions are available on Wikipedia for need and want. But we are discussing more than that. Let’s start with understanding need vs purpose with examples.

There are some needs that are important for living or better to say which is necessary for survival. Food, water, and shelter are a few of the most basic needs that everyone requires in order to live. In addition to the basics, oxygen is also necessary for human life. So while wants are what you think you should have but it is something that is not necessary for survival, needs are important for living and without them, people cannot survive.

Need vs Purpose with Practical Example

Drinking water, toothpaste, fruits, vegetables, pencil to write with; are all essential for survival.

It’s easy to feel like you want to be something or do something when you’re not quite sure what that is. It might be a fleeting thought or a more solidified idea that lasts for weeks, months, or even years. You may have a strong desire to become a painter, and you may doodle sometimes. What you want will keep changing over a shorter period of time – days, weeks, or months – and that’s okay. 

Want to eat chocolate then it is a wants. However one may have a different view if it is a medical urgency. You have a strong desire to become a painter, and you may doodle sometimes. What you want will keep changing over a shorter period. But desire may not. Desire is stronger than want. So remember, take care of your needs before you indulge in your wants. Don’t worry if your goals change; just keep moving forward.

Priorities Need Vs Want

First, you need to take care of what you need. What you want, you may control and delay. A strong desire can become a purpose but you need to compare your desire so you can prioritise. But there is still a difference between desire and purpose. Purpose clarify your existence, who you are and what you do? Now Goals are aligned as per your purpose and are measurable so you can achieve and pursue your purpose.

One thing where people got confused, the purpose is not self-centric and nor it is materialistic. For example, a purpose for a teacher could be to teach or educate with passion. While a goal is to teach 2 hours daily. Finding the purpose of Life is nearly a duty of mankind. And I would say psychologically, finding your purpose is your need as well. Though you can live without it for the short term. But in the long term, it makes your existence more profound.

If you work on needs, chances you will achieve quickly. It gives you satisfaction. After that, if you work for wants, the chances of achieving are less. But if you define and control your wants, you can achieve your wants as well.

If you ignore your needs, you may face physical issues. If you ignore your wants without planning you may face emotional pain sometimes. You can always predict what you need but you can never predict your wants.

Why are some people able to live peacefully with what they have? It is good that people learn something when they are kids. In childhood, parents play an important role in defining what we need, want and desire. The purpose is what we find ourselves most of the time. And we keep refining our purpose of life as we pursue it.

And never think that you cannot learn these things in old age. Because Neuroplasticity tells us you can learn something at any age. It is just some people practice control and meditation. And due to the Increasing struggle of thoughts and practice of control, they build great habits of controlling their wants and defining their purpose. But you need to make sure, you will be happy on the journey if you are happy and relaxed then you will learn and improvise easily.

Difference between Purpose and Need

In simple words, Purpose is what you want to do, whereas the need is what you have to do to achieve the purpose. Sometimes environment, where you are living in, makes unnecessary requirements and we consider them our needs. These are artificial needs which may or may not be required. You may laugh but to graduate is our artificial need, as in the society where you live, people think that you should have that. While Purpose where you are the main person who is planning to do something. So in this way you find out you can choose from needs as well. You may not do regular graduation, you may do a practical diploma to achieve your goal and your purpose in your life.

For achieving your purpose, you have to think of what is required to be done. For example, your purpose may be to go on a vacation, but you need to work to afford it. Another example would be if you want to buy a new car, but you need to save money for a down payment. The purpose is about what you want, while the need is about what you have to do.

Desire vs Want

In conclusion, desire and want are two different things. Desire is a strong feeling that you need something, while want is a weaker feeling that you would like to have something. This is an important distinction to make because it can help you understand yourself and your motivations better. If you can identify the difference between what you desire and what you want, you can work on satisfying your desires and achieving your goals.

Examples of Purpose in Life

There are many examples of purpose in life. Here are some examples:

  • Have a sustainable income through active income

  • Take care of Your loved ones

  • Innovate or refine an existing solution to a problem

  • Once you have sustainable income help those who don't have to get sustainable income

  • Build a source of passive income example Blogging, Affiliate Marketing, Intertest, Rental Income etc

  • Enjoy every moment of life and sleep in peace at the night

  • Try to become capable enough to say No to things which are against your ethics

  • Add value to one person's life.

  • Respect & Take care of nature, your life and other living beings whenever you can.

  • Start a business to utilise your potential to provide a better experience.

Example of Purpose in Business

After putting in continuous efforts you know that you will generate profit. But assume if you have earned it without adding any value to the customer, you may end up in a dilemma of why and what next. Therefore it is my personal view that companies which found that having a deeper meaning can lead to fulfilling success will enjoy the journey and will have fewer dilemmas.

For example, I started Piltil to add value. Piltil means Possibility is Limitless, Time is Limited. And while adding value to other business owners, I become sustainable. And while providing digital marketing services, side by side I wrote blogs which help other business owners find their ways to have a fulfilling life through my blog. I feel happy about what I did. I can keep enjoying the journey.

Here are some more examples, TOMS Shoes was created with the intention of helping others; for every pair of shoes sold, another pair is given to a child in need. The company has been successful in part because its consumers know that their purchase is benefiting someone else.

Other businesses have found that their purpose doesn't necessarily have to be philanthropic to be effective. In fact, many companies focus on providing the best possible experience for their customers and employees and find that this leads to increased profits. Zappos is a well-known example of this; the online retailer goes above and beyond to make sure its customers are happy, and as a result, they keep coming back.

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