Our Need to Matter

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One of the most difficult
and important need to manage
is our need to matter.

It is an existential need
that taps directly into our sense of self-worth.

Few are willing to admit to this need being a major driver.

Some admit to this in a roundabout way
by saying “I’m going to prove them wrong,”
which is a response to people who violated our need to matter.

Most will brush off the existence of this need
by emphasizing other needs
such as the need to contribute,
which is deemed more “altruistic,”
thus more acceptable and in alignment
with our desire to retain a self-image
of a “good” person.

Our need to matter
can serve as a powerful motivator to achieve something,
because achieving that thing may seem like the way to matter,
thus empowering us to persevere in the most difficult of times.

At the same time,
it can also blind us to behaviors that conspire against us.
Behaviors that, in hindsight, were excessive.
Behaviors we later regret.
Behaviors that may even cost us our lives
or lead to the demise of everything we’ve worked hard to build.

Our need to matter is a double-edged sword.

May we manage it
and manage well.