Multiple Need Activities

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Activities do not fall into only one of the six human needs discussed in a previous post. In fact, if an activity satisfies three or more of these needs, you are likely to become addicted to it, whether it is good or bad.

This observation is underpinned by scientific studies. Some of you may have heard of the left-brain / right-brain theory. It used to be thought that a person who is ‘left-brained’ was more logical, analytical and objective, while a person who is ‘right-brained’ was more intuitive, thoughtful and subjective. Whilst this theory is now considered to be outdated, different activities do stimulate the activities of the right and the left brain in different ways.

It is known that the left side of your brain processes language and mathematics, whereas the right side of your brain is more responsible for bigger picture thinking, visual processing and intuitive thoughts. It is the creative side of your brain. Some of us are more rewarded by activity that is served by the left brain, and others by activities that require more of the right brain. If, however, you do an activity that utilises both sides of the brain, you will gain more satisfaction.

Bad News Is Bad News!

Another less favourable example of an activity that satisfies three of the ‘Six Human Needs’ would be watching television. It certainly satisfies variety, because, within reason, it is different every time; personally, I would question that notion due to the repetitiveness of some programmes! It also satisfies the need for certainty, in that it is always there when you want it. It could also be argued that for some people it is providing a source of connection, and for others a source of growth, depending of course on what is being watched.

You might be wondering why I referred to this as a ‘less favourable example’, particularly if you feel that watching TV allows you to grow. I do believe that in retirement especially, you should watch TV only in moderation. Television fills the void for people who lack purpose. It should be considered a negative activity, not a positive one, and as long as you treat it like you would a food that was bad for you, you will be better off.

When people watch an excessive amount of television, they do not look for new solutions of any problems, thereby reducing their mental capacity. Those who watch too much television typically suffer from forgetfulness and decreased ability to think abstractly. TV watching is a passive activity and not an active activity and does not develop the mind.

On the subject of TV, let’s talk about kicking the constant news habit of today’s society. In today’s world of 24/7 news, it is easy to get caught up in watching the news three times a day, reading the paper and catching up online. Many would say that this is allowing you to be informed and up-to-date with today’s important stories, and I can appreciate that argument, but does it make you happy? Only a small fraction of all news that you consume is good news. Is that because good things don’t happen? Of course not, good things happen all the time, but bad news makes good news, as they say.

If you want to ensure you don’t get left behind, I can highly recommend the magazine called The Week. In a weekly magazine, you can read all of the news stories of that week, from a diverse spread of publications. All the news you need in one hit, and then you are free to enjoy the rest of your life without worry! There are of course easy ways to do the same online, using apps like Flipboard, where you can effectively build your own personal newspaper for free. I encourage you to give it a try. Opt out of the news, and replace the guilt with happiness!


Getting older might make you feel like you are slowing down. Do not be fooled into thinking this is cognitive decline, you have so much information in your brain that it takes more time to access it! You can be stronger and happier in your retirement than ever before. Life is an adventure, you can expect change and embrace it. Learn the right time to retire, how to boost your retirement income and create your dream retirement. Follow your dreams and love what you do!

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