Monday, April 02, 2012

A Sense Of Security

The third pillar of well-being is having a sense of security. Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” lists food and shelter as our most basic need. If you don’t have food and a place to live, everything else is pretty tough. For me, having a sense of security also means not being afraid. How can I feel secure if every waking moment is filled with worry and fear about my basic needs? In order to have a sense of security you do not need to have an overabundance of everything. I feel secure when I have enough of everything. Like most things in life, it’s all about balance. When we are young we often want everything without a realistic understanding of what it takes to have anything. Unless you are a trust fund baby or you win the lottery, you are probably going to have to work. Assuming you have employment and it provides you with a regular and steady income, your needs and wants with have to be balanced with your ability to pay for them. Keep in mind that what you need and what you want can be very different. As I’ve said before, the first half of life is usually about building and gathering. I am in the second half of life where I am now deciding what is truly essential for my life. I no longer think about how I can get more. Now I think more about letting go and doing with less. One also needs to balance the needs of the present with the anticipated needs of the future. This can be tricky. I don’t believe in robbing the present for a future that is not guaranteed. However, I don’t have an attitude of “let’s eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we may be dead” either. Of course, a sense of security is not just about money. Assuming basic physical needs are met, I also want to feel safe, not only from harm, but from the unexpected. I avoid stress by minimizing stressors. I avoid fear by avoiding situations that put me in danger. In life in general, I give what I can and I only take what I need. I generally feel secure and I have gotten to this point by learning from my mistakes and by making new decisions that don’t jeopardize my security.

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