Tag Archives: Needs

Intent of the Day: Notice the Needs


 When I was a boy and I would see scary things
in the news, my mother would say to me,
“Look for the helpers.
You will always find people who are helping.”
-Fred Rogers

In a time that can feel so unsteady, it can also feel difficult to focus on anything beyond ourselves and what is right in front of us. Managing the chaos in our own homes or offices might be overwhelming enough, and we understand that, but sometimes the key to alleviating some of that anxiety is finding a place where we can help. We don’t have to or want to feel paralyzed. Instead, we want to notice the needs and get going, whether they are inside our home or somewhere still unknown to us. Our intent of the day is to notice the needs.

Here are some needs you might not know about that could use some helpers today:

  1. UNICEF and the work their doing for children around the world.
    Most of us are already familiar with the name, but did you know that UNICEF raises money and works on behalf of the rights of children in 190 countries and territories? This includes everything from education, healthcare to meeting basic human needs. How can you help? Of course, it takes funds to make all this happen you can certainly give. You can also give! Find out about giving or going with UNICEF here!
  2. Yoga Gives Back and the work their doing to help women in India build sustainable lives for the price of a yoga class.
    Yoga Gives Back is an LA organization that seeks to mobilize the yoga community to use their practice and their passion to help women on the other side of the world end the cycle of poverty and discrimination. Through sponsored yoga classes, you and your community can pass the goodness on to women whose lives may be forever changed.
  3. The ASPCA and their work to end animal cruelty and find a home for every homeless pet.
    The ASCPA does work for a group of individuals who can neither speak up for themselves nor do anything to repay you. Dealing with both cases of cruelty and homelessness, the ASPCA rescues, restores and relocates animals who deserve much better than they have known. This organization is looking for volunteers, for donations, for your story and even for you to add a pet to your family! Want to get connected? Here‘s how you can!


The Pursuit of Substitute Needs

Question: You speak of a hierarchy of repressed emotions as follows: anger, hurt, need, and fear. I gather from what you say that our needs, other than for survival, are an illusion. Is awareness of these needs all that is necessary for them to be met and to move beyond them? Is there some action we must take?

Leonard’s Answer:  The only true need is the need for others to be present with us. All other needs are substitute needs. When we came into this world as tiny and vulnerable babies, we had a need for our parents to be truly present with us. But to varying degrees, they were not, and so we did not feel safe. In order to feel safe, we began our pursuit of substitute needs.

“Well, if you will not be present with me, then will you at least love me?”

It soon became obvious that we would not receive the level of unconditional love that we needed to feel safe, so we went after the next substitute need.

“Well if you will not love me, then will you at least accept me unconditionally?”

That substitute need was not met.

“Well, if you will not love and accept me unconditionally, will you at least approve of me, or acknowledge me, or make me feel special.”

With each step we take in pursuit of these substitute needs, we are moving away from ourselves and becoming lost in others.

Most of us spend our entire lives in pursuit of these substitute needs, completely unaware that all we really need is for others to be truly present with us. One who is fully present is loving, accepting and acknowledging. When another is truly present with you, you get it all.

-Leonard Jacobson
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The 12 Steps of Recovery from Chronic Dieting

Last week I invited you to welcome in this year by stopping your dieting. I gave 2 compelling reasons why diets don’t work for lasting weight loss, set point and water balance. This week I’m going into more detail on the first step toward “diet recovery”: Admit you have needs that haven’t been met.
Every one of us is born with a set of needs that is unique to them. This is called our temperament. We all have the same basic needs, but the priority given to each need and preference varies from person. Much of our temperament is determined by genetics, and some is formed as we live our life…so some is the result of nature and some the result of nurture. To a large extent it is believed that the attunement to our needs by our primary care giver at birth determines our responses when our needs are not met. For example, the woman whose mother or father was emotionally distant may use other sources to get her needs for nurturing, love, and connection met. In time she may discover that food seems to soothe the pain of these needs not being met by her parent(s). Food is constant, non-judgmental, and often, easily available (unlike her parent). Or consider the boy that goes “unseen” by his alcoholic family. He devises a way of using food to numb his rage and pain. Or the little girl who grew up as “the apple of her father’s eye”, whose needs were met until she began puberty when her body began to change, and her father grew distant and uncomfortable around her. She begins to restrict her food, unconsciously thwarting her natural growth into maturity through dieting or anorexia.
Admitting you have needs that have not been met is the first step of 12 for a very good reason; unless you are in touch with the needs that you are currently meeting with food, dieting, or binging, you have very little chance of permanently breaking free of the cycle of weight loss/ weight gain. Some of the needs met by food include but are not limited to: autonomy, freedom, choice, comfort, connection, reassurance, predictability, emotional safety, sharing, community, family, and pleasure. Some of the needs met by dieting include: autonomy, freedom, choice, individuality, self-worth, self-respect, purpose, acknowledgement, being liked, respect, friendship, companionship, acceptance, aesthetic, validation, exercise and movement. You can see how some of these needs overlap, but I hope the prevailing point is that there are a lot of needs met by both dieting and not dieting. The goal is to acknowledge first that your needs are legitimate…ALL OF THEM. For some people this is the most difficult part. Many of us feel undeserving of getting our needs met. Maybe you were told you have too many needs i.e. “Don’t be so needy.”   Maybe you were told to submit your needs by putting the needs of others first i.e. “Don’t be so selfish. Help your mother.” Maybe you weren’t even aware that you have needs! That’s not so uncommon.
So, are you nourishing yourself lovingly with healthy foods and healthy relationships? If so, you’re probably not the chronic dieter or someone with an eating disorder. For the rest of us, the challenge becomes twofold: 1) being able to know your needs, 2) figuring out how to get them met. The second part may require trial and error, but trust me; it’s worth putting in the time. Think about all the time, energy, strength (willpower) and money you have invested throughout your life in dieting and weight loss. Imagine investing equal time, energy and strength into getting your needs met! Spend the money too if you need professional assistance. What is stopping you? What scares you about doing this? You are worth it! For all the people you love and for yourself, why not make this investment in you? What would change as a result? Some of you secretly fear that if you were to become healthy (a person that you like, someone whom you admire) your current relationships would no longer serve you, and then where would you be? I understand this fear, but it’s fear that keeps us stuck in old beliefs and old patterns.  It is love, love of self, and love for others that is our salvation.
So, to recap, here are the 12 steps to recovery from chronic dieting or eating disorders:
1.       Admit you have needs that haven’t been met.
2.       Seek help and support.
3.       Look for answers…don’t stop until you’ve found them.
4.       Look for solutions…stop submitting, stop rebelling.
5.       Practice gratitude daily.
6.       Develop a balanced point of view.
7.       Share your stories with others…you are not alone.
8.       Clear away the wreckage of your past…mourn the lost opportunities.
9.       Continuously revise your life story.
10.   Practice honesty and compassion for self and others.
11.   Meet your needs..communicate honestly and directly.
12.   Knowing that you are not powerless, food will fall into its healthful place.
Next week we will go into depth on step 2: seeking help and support. Please visit my website www.colleenperry.com for last week’s blog and for more information on this subject.

Qualities, Purpose, Needs: Using the QPN Model To Find Your Life Purpose

We are all blessed with special talents; some apparent and some not so apparent. Some of us appear more gifted than others; none-the-less we are all unique in miraculous ways. We are singers, dancers, scientist, writers, doctors, lawyers, designers, teachers, counselors, actors, entrepreneurs, inventors, brick layers, stone masons….and the list goes on and on and on.

 The hard part in our journey to discover our unique gifts is the realization of exactly what they are. Once known to us, we must embrace them wholeheartedly as our contribution to the world!  

A solid clue to uncovering our gifts is listening to what other people compliment us about, which gives us the insight into our personal "talent pool." For example, suppose someone says to you, “Oh, you are such a great writer” or “I really value you as a friend,” or, “You work so well with people, you must be a people person.” The notion that others may "see" us more clearly than we do ourselves is a truism, so pay close attention when others share a kind word.  

It is important to recognize, accept, use, and build on our talents. In my case, people tell me I am a strong networker, catalyst, motivator and interviewer. Over the years, I have tried to nurture those gifts, knowing that internal and external success will come when I honor what is given to me. I also believe that raw talent coupled with hard work is an unstoppable combination. 

I have developed a model to answer the question: “Am I on the right path?” It is called the QPN Model which helps match your personal and professional qualities to the needs of others. Each letter represents a key component in the QPN Model. Q stands for qualities, which are the qualities you bring to the situation such as empathy, competence and efficiency. The P stands for purpose, which is your purpose in working with the other person or group. The N represents the needs of your clients in a business setting or your friends and family in a personal setting.  My goal in this model is to create a win-win P=N. That occurs when your purpose is equal to the need of the other person or group so that everyone is satisfied with the outcomes. When you also match your qualities, the Q, to their needs, the N, you and the other party can relate more easily to each other. 

Using the QPN Model, you create win-win situations that result in less stress and confusion all-around because you are genuinely working on the other person’s behalf while honoring your own needs.  

Here are questions for you to consider in the QPN Model:  

  • Where do your talents and skills lie?
  • What is your philosophy of life and work?
  • Do you use initiative, innovativeness and intuitiveness in your work?
  • How strong are your values and beliefs?
  • What are the indicators that you are on the right path?
  • How are you expressing your true purpose?
  • What are you personal qualities or gifts that make you shine?
  • How have you created win-win situations with others?

      Using these questions can help you weave your skills, talents and abilities into positive alignment so you can reach your personal and professional vision of success.

Solitude and loneliness

People love to make this mistake, they confuse between loneliness and solitude, single and lonely, silent and sad. The list is never ending.


People often make a misconception that the people who live with themselves mostly, creating a blank space around them, which is penetrable yet non penetrable at the same time are unhappy or depressed. It’s the one of the biggest misconception any one can make in case of judgment.


I am one of these person, who love to spend long time on my own, simply not interacting with any one, I love to be on my own, listening to music, reading, watching movies on computer or surfing the cyberland. I always loved observing others but from a distance and without interfering in their affairs. During my school and college life  I used to sit in a seat from where I was not visible to any one, and used to watch people walking on the street, they never felt the irritation of being watched, and I loved to see them in their natural way.  Or in get togethers my role was more of a spectator enjoying the show.


Till now I don’t join in festivities like bursting crackers or pandal hopping, instead of that I love to watch those who are doing it, playing with crackers, colours or all decked up and dancing with joy.


People often form a misconception that I don’t mix with people because I think I am superior than them, a fact which I just cant make them understand that I know I am like every body else, but I love to watch people from a distance, I don’t like to mingle with some one until and unless he or she forces himself or herself into my space or I see some thing interesting in them. I rather love to play the role of audience, to watch the wheel turning.


In general I prefer  just to watch and listen, not talk. That does not means I am homophobic or depressed. That means I am at peace with myself and the world. Sometimes  those who think otherwise and try to tear my cocoon and get too cozy are the only one who get stinged, because I guess I am over protective of my solitude, of that blank space around me.


I really wonder every time I sting some one if it is really my fault or the clumsiness of these naïve people, who don’t understand the simple truth that need of solitary time varies from one person to another. Some people always want to have some one they can talk with, share their feeling and some people would not mind living in an isolated island.


I have finally concluded that the friction of social and unsocial people is eternal. Social people think unsocial people rude and unsocial people think that social people are naïve.


How to be healthy, Part 5 of 5

Originally posted at Vitality Health Hub.

To conclude this 5 part article on ‘How to be healthy’, we are going to discuss the final level of Abraham Maslow’s Hierachy of Human Needs.

In order to be healthy we must visit each of these needs in turn, beginning with the primal needs, or physiological needs, working our way through social interaction, the need for love or belonging, self-esteem, and now finally once those lower level needs are met we move onto self-actualisation, otherwise known as the aesthetic needs.

These aesthetic needs are realised through reaching one’s own maximum potential through morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts. There is a very spiritual view to all of these points, however Maslow himself towards the end of his life acknowledged that beyond self-actualisation is actually self-transcendence – the level associated with much more mysticism and insight than any of the other levels.

Within the aesthetic principles of this highest level, and reaching maximum potential, is the very Buddhist/Zen/Taoist philosophy of simply "Being". To simply BE is accepting life as it currently is, being less judgemental, and being present with time where it currently is and not the past, or the future.

It has been said by many teachers that meditation is "the best thing a person can do." Therefore, this is what I will suggest as your exercise for allowing yourself to simply BE – meditation.

Now, before you go running away from this so-called "spiritual" practice, or think that it is way too airy-fary to work, I invite you to take part in 100 days of consistent meditative practice and I guarantee you will feel healthier than ever. You will find that it definitely is the "best thing a person can do".

For those of you who have never meditated before, you can either lie down, sit on the floor, sit in a chair, kneel, stand – you name it! – (There are even many forms of active meditation) and aim for 20-30 minutes of keeping silent with your eyes closed, simply watching your thoughts, not judging them or letting them drift too far, and then bringing your mind onto your breath. Think about your inhalation and exhalation, and that will keep you calm and relaxed.

Deepak Chopra and David Simon of the Chopra Center in California say that they have just one rule when it comes to meditation, "No running, to or from meditation." This way you will take a little bit of peace with you into your day.

Good luck, and please comment with your experiences on BEING healthy.

How to be healthy, Part 1 of 5

Originally posted at Vitality Health Hub.

Living healthy should be the goal of every person. Without health we have nothing and everything else in life can be forgotten. I have come to this conclusion after studying healthy people, rather than studying ill people or diseases themselves.

American psychologist Abraham Maslow was of this same belief and created his hierachy of needs after studying exemplary people. He wrote, "the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy."

Maslow’s hierachy of needs has health and the physiological needs of a person as the base or foundation of all needs, taking more importance than a person’s self esteem needs and even spiritual development. I personlly agree with Maslow and thus the basis of all of my work with my clients will initially focus on the physiological needs or the needs of the body – good nutrition, water or hydration, and balance or homeostasis of the nervous system. Without these then energy will dwindle and concentrated effort into other endeavours will not be as effective.

My favourite definition of health is that of holistic health practitioner Paul Chek who simply says that "health is taking responsibility for oneself". Plus, my own idea of living is only relevant when a person is living healthy. In my opinion many people ‘die’ young and walk around going from doctor to doctor and surgeon to surgeon not actually living. All of which can be avoided through living healthy.

Now, back to Maslow’s hierachy of needs and the foundational factors of a holistic, healthy lifestyle that I teach – Breathing, Food, Water, Sleep, Homeostasis and Excretion.

After using these principles in my life and my clients lives i have consistently found that developing a flexible routine and plan to implement each element into your day is the secret to success. 

Firstly, adding breathing to your daily routine. Of course we all breathe every day already but I would suggest that you try to breathe differently than you probably do now – through your diaphragm. I wrote a post called Breathing Like a Baby which explains how to do this in detail. I suggest finding 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening to practise your breathing and eventually you will carry it into the rest of your day with you.

Food and Water can be split into two distinct areas: Quality and Quantity. When you are looking at quality you should ideally look for organic, free range foods, and a high quality bottled water such as Evian, Volvic, Vittel or Fiji. Food quantity varies from person to person as each of us should arrange our meals according to our genetic, hereditary and geographic types – or your Metabolic Type. Typically, 10,000 years ago well before processed food was around humans would have eaten protein (meat and fish) according to its availability based on your geographic location. Basically if you live in a cold weather country, this should be the majority of your diet, and warmer climates will need a roughly equal balance between proteins and carbohydrates (vegetables and fruits.) For your water intake you should drink half of your body weight in pounds in ounces of water daily, or your body weight in kilograms multiplied by 0.033 for the amount in litres.

Sleep and Homeostasis to me means balance – balance in all areas of your life, work and play. Our bodies are wired to repair at night – physically between 10pm and 2am, and mentally between 2am and 6am. What this means is that you should sleep between these times otherwise your body will not be repairing optimally. To find homeostasis in other areas of your life I suggest you balance your "do time" with your "don’t-do time". What I mean by this is find some down time and rest as often as you can. Life is for living after all and not for working too much. (Unless of course you love what you do 🙂 )

Excretion is vitally important as a human need. We all need to do it but unfortunately many of us don’t do it enough due to junk food, stress, and dehydration. I recently wrote a post linking digestive issues to weight gain, back pain, and fatigue.

As these are your ‘basic’ needs you need to ‘master’ these first in order to live healthy. Failure to do so will only make your efforts in the following needs less fruitful – safety, love/belonging/ esteem and self-actualisation.

We will be exploring these in the blog posts to follow, but for now work on your primal needs to master the art of living healthy.

Take Time Out

One of the most compelling findings Jeff Greenhaus and I reported in our research (described in our book, "Work and Family — Allies or Enemies?") on the lives and careers of over 800 business professionals was this: The more time that working mothers spent taking care of themselves, the better were the emotional and physical health of their children.

Does this apparent paradox surprise you? It shouldn’t, for it’s just another bit of proof that if you don’t take care of yourself then you can’t really serve those who depend on you. So why is it so difficult for people to devote the resources needed to take care of themselves?

When I ask participants in my Total Leadership program to rate how they feel about how things are going in the four main parts of their lives — work, home, community, and self — it’s often the last that’s rated lowest.

It’s easiest to ignore the self because the only one to whom you’re accountable is you.

In the face of intense pressure to meet the performance expectations of the people around you at work, at home, and in the community, you’re naturally inclined to give yourself short shrift.

Focusing time and attention on yourself is too readily construed as being, well, selfish — and so you’re likely to feel guilty if you do so. Unfortunately, while it might seem noble in the short run to sacrifice the needs you have to cultivate your mind, body, and spirit, over time it’s a recipe for burnout.

A sustainable life as a leader who contributes meaningfully to the world requires the discipline to take care of you, too.

How, then, to overcome the guilt? The key is to very specifically identify how, by better meeting the expectations you have for enhancing your mind, your body, and your spirit, you are indeed making things better at work, at home, and in the community.

It’s not that hard: Just think, for example, about how you’re more likely to perform better at work and at home and in the community — according to the standards of those who evaluate you in these different domains — if you get a full night’s rest, exercise regularly, eat well, meditate, do yoga, take a walk, listen to music, or do whatever it is that rejuvenates and restores you.

Try it for a month or so, making sure to assess the impact of your experiment on your performance.

If you’ve designed it well, with the interests of your key stakeholders in mind, then you’ll probably find that by taking better care of yourself you’re better able to get the results you want in serving others.

After doing experiments like these, I ask participants in my program to rate their satisfaction in all four areas of life again. The biggest jump is in the domain of "self" — by an average increase of 39 percent! And their satisfaction goes up while their performance improves across all domains, too. (For an example, see the video of Deika Morrison here.)

What have you done recently to take better care of yourself and strengthen your ability to perform well in the other parts of your life? In these stressful times, it’s more important than ever that we all do so.

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