Do you know what you really need? I’m not talking about material things. I mean, what do you need to make your life all you want it to be?
Author Stephen Covey says that people all share four basic needs: the need to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy. We need to live. Not just to breathe but to live life fully. Dr. Philip Humbert asks, “What remarkable, extraordinary and amazing things will you do with this wild and wonderful miracle, your one and only life?” We need to love. We also need to be loved. As anthropologist Margaret Mead puts it, “One of the oldest human needs is having someone wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night.” We need to learn. And not only for a few years when we are young. We must be life-long learners who never stop growing, never cease to improve. For when we no longer grow, we stagnate. And when we stagnate, we die.
Finally, we need to leave a legacy. It is a basic desire to want our lives to count for something. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a little bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
These are four needs that must never be neglected. Live fully, love completely, learn constantly and leave something worthwhile behind. It is the path to success. And to joy.