What Do You Want More of Right Now?

by J. Money - Published March 23, 2018

desire dream hope

What do you want more of right now?

  • Sex
  • Beer
  • Sleep
  • Money?

I was curious the other day, so I decided to poll my Twitter folks just to see what would happen :) Here’s how 587 of them voted:

what do you want poll

Probably doesn’t come as a surprise that money came in at #1 with an audience of $$$ enthusiasts, but look at what’s second: SLEEP!!! The thing that should be one of the easiest (and free) of the group to get, however apparently not? And then we have sex at #3 which is also shockingly low, followed by beer which I guess makes sense, although it was right before Happy Hour when I was posting this?

Still, as you can see, there’s more to life than just money :) At least depending on the time of day.

And I think subconsciously I was thinking about all of this because of a post that Joshua from BecomingMinimalist.com wrote that really hit me pretty good: What Do You Need Right Now?

He hypothesized the following which I completely agree:

“My guess is that most of us, when asked “What do you need right now?” would not answer with anything that comes from a department store or retail website. We have far more significant needs in our lives. Far more important pursuits that we wish to accomplish”

And then he continues with:

“An important follow-up question to the original [question] might be, “How much time and energy are you putting into seeing those needs met?””

Think about that for a second. How much time ARE we spending towards the things that actually matter in our lives? The things that aren’t really “things” at all, but dreams and goals or quality time with others and ourselves (at rest time!). What DO we really need out of this life, and how hard are we actively going after them?

I didn’t put “goals” on the list of options in my poll, but if you look at all those I did give, none of them were around more “stuff,” interestingly enough.

  • Beer: falls under “enjoyment”
  • Sex: doubly falls under “enjoyment!” ;)
  • Sleep: “health/happiness/necessity”
  • Money: All of the above + FREEDOM

(You’ll also notice I swapped in “want” instead of “need” in my questioning compared to Joshua’s, so it’s definitely skewed since most people take action on what they WANT vs what they NEED, despite our best efforts ;) Plus of course, I gave people a specified list of answers to pick from rather than letting them answer for themselves, haha…)

Scientific polling or not though, asking yourself what you really want right now is important to consider every now and then, particularly if you’re constantly in “go” mode.

If we really want more sleep, why aren’t we going after it? If sex is at the bottom of the list, is it because we’re getting enough or is it just not that important to us right now? If beer indeed comes in at dead last on your priorities, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU??? ;)

It’s also good to keep in mind that you often want different things at different times. In the mornings you may crave coffee/sex/money, and in the evenings sleep/entertainment/companionship. Just like on the weekends your mind is off chasing things you normally wouldn’t go for during the work week.

And that’s important to define, because if you can understand what you truly want at any given period of time, you can better prevent yourself from wasting time and energy/money on things that aren’t as important in the moment and instead direct it towards that which are.

How often do we crack open a beer or just randomly go out and buy something because we know it can make us happy, even though at that particular time it wouldn’t? Or how often do we cave and have sex/take on a new project even though they’re the last things we actually want in the moment?

Most things in life are enjoyable, but they’re even more so when consumed at the right time and at the right place. Put anything in a different context, and it can totally change the outcome.

Anyways, all this to say it’s good to be as conscious with your time and money as possible, and more often than not it’s not more “stuff” we’re after, but rather fulfillment and happiness.

Plus, I just really wanted to talk about sex and beer today ;) 10 years of blogging about finance can tend to get old, haha… Gotta keep things fresh!

Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Olivia March 23, 2018 at 5:50 am

I’m allergic to alcohol :(. That’s what’s wrong with me haha.

I love the focus on happiness. As fire bloggers, I feel like we talk about money all the time but we forget that we’re truly just pursuing financial freedom in order to find happiness in our lives forever. We don’t talk about things like sex, alcohol, sleep, etc as often as we should.

We spend all our time optimizing our portfolio or assets, and minimizing our liabilities by paying off debt and refinancing that we don’t track happiness (incidentally there is an interesting blogger called tracking happiness that tracks his happiness).

I think we should all track our happiness levels and find what makes us really happy. Too often what we think does, actually doesn’t as you point out. Perhaps a DIY happiness tracking journal? Haha.

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2 Lily | The Frugal Gene March 23, 2018 at 6:14 am

You gotta enlighten everyone properly girl! It’s called the Asian Glow (well there’s probably a science-y name for it..)

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3 My Sons Father March 23, 2018 at 6:22 am

Interesting thought! I wrote a post about the myth of happiness and generally believe that we are chasing the wrong thing when we focus on happiness.

Happiness is a momentary/fleeting feeling and trying to obtain it seems to lead to trying to purchase it. Maybe it’s just semantics, but I tend to focus on fulfillment or contentment. Those seem more enduring than happiness.

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4 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 6:50 am

Oooooh fascinating!!! I’ve been trying to note *when* I feel happy to then figure out what caused it so I can try to duplicate it (of course!), but haven’t thought to write it down somewhere like in a journal to officially track it. I kinda like it! gonna go search for that tracking happiness blogger now – thanks :)

(so far the things I’ve figured out that make me happy 100% btw, are seeing my kids laugh (the best!), laying down for a few minute when I’m super tired/sore – even in the middle of the day!, when I hit inbox zero (something so refreshing about that!), and when I *think* about coffee haha… I literally don’t even have to drink or see it, just merely thinking about it makes me so happy?!)

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5 the Budget Epicurean March 23, 2018 at 7:15 am

Hahaha I have the same reaction to coffee thoughts! (Or wine!). There’s a site called 100happydays.com, I’ve been considering taking on the challenge. You take a photo of something or someone that made you happy every day for 100 days. They track it for you, and you can get a book at the end of all the things that made you happy!

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6 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 9:45 am

I LIKE IT!!!!

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7 Chris @ Duke of Dollars March 23, 2018 at 8:14 am

great idea to mark these moments down – almost like a gratitude journal !

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8 Joe March 23, 2018 at 10:18 am

That’s very interesting. I used to feel more of those happiness moments when our kid was a baby. My happiness also spikes whenever my wife is happy or appreciative. Other than that, I’m pretty even keeled. Not a lot of spikes in my emotional state. That’s pretty good, right?

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9 Chris @ Duke of Dollars March 23, 2018 at 8:13 am

Alcohol isn’t always the best solution to enjoyment within your life, so you don’t have to worry about being allergic. Definitely agree with tracking happiness, and recommend to create a scorecard for yourself to determine if you live up to the qualities you believe in!

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10 Lily | The Frugal Gene March 23, 2018 at 6:18 am

I wonder if the % would have differed if you put food.

I took it as an order of survival. If you don’t sleep, you’re gonna die. Or go insane. The body needs sleep like air. You can get by without very beer and sex – nuns do – I think they’re… pretty happy? And money isn’t necessary. You don’t die from no money.

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11 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 6:52 am

Yes, but I put “want” not what do you “need!” in the poll! Haha… Although of course you don’t want to die, so I can get that ;)

And yup – I bet putting down “food” would have def. skewed the #’s… we love us some food!

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12 Budget on a Stick March 23, 2018 at 8:12 am

How about donuts? You don’t “need” them (unless you are my son which is adamant people do).

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13 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 9:50 am

I think about donuts every other day, haha… though I like the *idea* of them more so than their tastes – at least the super sugary ones :)

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14 My Sons Father March 23, 2018 at 6:26 am

Lily always seems to beat me on your comments, she’s on top of her game!

Great stuff! I agree that focusing on what we truly value will lead to greater contentment. To quote another minimalist, consumption isn’t the problem, compulsory consumption is”.

We have to be intentional if we want to live a life with meaning!

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15 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 6:52 am

Amen to that.

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16 Cubert March 23, 2018 at 6:38 am

When we’re kids, we want things – like an X-Box.

Then, if we’re lucky, we change before we would otherwise sink a shitload of money into big toys like cars and jet skis. Those top three you could bucket into “vacation.” Especially for those of us with kids in the house.

So for me, the question is Time or Vacation, with Money being the means to those ends.

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17 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 6:53 am

Haha…. yeah pretty much.

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18 the Budget Epicurean March 23, 2018 at 6:50 am

This is such a great exercise to go through, regularly. Time is our most precious asset because it’s the only thing you can never get more of. We all have exactly 24 hours, and we have time for only those things we make time for. You know the big rocks/ little stones analogy? You gotta make time for the big rocks first to make it all fit.

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19 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 6:56 am

I do!!! It’s one of my favorite analogies :) Blogged about it just a little while ago, actually!

http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/mayonnaise-jar-story/

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20 Accidental FIRE March 23, 2018 at 7:14 am

I was looking for the “pancakes with nutella” button but you didn’t put one…

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21 Chris @ Duke of Dollars March 23, 2018 at 8:15 am

LOL! Yes to Nutella!!

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22 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 9:51 am

STOP!!! I can’t handle that much awesomeness this early in the morning!

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23 Ms. Frugal Asian Finance March 23, 2018 at 8:07 am

I need more money and less drama/tension/headache in my life. I want the other things too haha maybe except for beer cuz I just don’t like the taste. ;)

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24 Budget on a Stick March 23, 2018 at 8:11 am

I voted sleep but at the time of the poll neither the baby nor the toddler were sleeping…meaning neither were the wife and it.

Now I would be fine with saying money.

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25 Chris @ Duke of Dollars March 23, 2018 at 8:16 am

50 cent was doing a movie and a soundtrack at the same time for his Get Rich oir Die trying movie.

He said he did the acting during the day, soundtrack at night…

He was asked – “How in the world do you do that? When do you sleep?”

“Sleep is for the broke”

It has been one of my mantras when I’m tired and don’t feel like doing anything. I’d rather have FIRE then have sleep in my future :)

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26 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 9:52 am

Haha… Didn’t he also forget he had like $5 million in bitcoin too? when he let people buy his albums back in the day with it? I actually miss his old music… gets stuck in your head!

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27 Sean @ Frugal Money Man March 23, 2018 at 8:35 am

TIME WITH MY FAMILY!!!

Especially my nieces :) I haven’t really taken a vacation in a couple years since I got money intense, but I FINALLY took off a couple days in April so that I can go to Florida with my entire family!

I haven’t been able to go with them for 2 years, so I am definitely pumped about that:)

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28 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 9:53 am

Good good job :) I know it’s hard to do, but we need that in our lives!

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29 Caroline March 23, 2018 at 8:41 am

All I want to know is, do you have the responses by gender?
Just curious about sex vs. sleep? Lol

And I agree about timing. There are things I valued before and with time my priorities have changed. Those damn kids took over my life!…in a good way:)

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30 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 9:54 am

That would be interesting to see – male vs female – on this stuff :)

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31 Paul March 23, 2018 at 8:43 am

I voted for beer. Logically it made sense, if you think about it its got to be the bottom of the J$ hierarchy of needs triangle…
Assumption: Money in this case means real money and not like $10.

If you drink beer then logically you’ll eventually fall asleep. You then wont worry about sex or money, at least until you wake up, so really beer is the key to overall self-actualization and happiness.

At least that’s what I got out of it…

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32 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 9:55 am

I think I should just quit blogging and turn the keys over to you :)

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33 Franklin Bach March 23, 2018 at 9:06 am

No surprise about money leading the sense of urgency list. It is intangible figure that resides on your screen when you log into your accounts. For many, this is where it goes off the rails. There is a need to obtain tangible items with that money. Buying freedom or time requires some thought. Joshua from BecomingMinimalist.com is spot on by proposing a well thought out question on defining your priorities. The question he poses is double edged as it presents an opportunity to validate the need and it’s sense of urgency and what one is doing about it. It removes the impulse and begins to peel back one’s personal definition of wants and needs by starting with a high quality question.

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34 FullTimeFinance March 23, 2018 at 10:26 am

I know with little kids the one thing I can’t get more of is sleep. Except by sacrificing the rest ie pay for child care and skip work/sex/beer.

Hence the ranking.

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35 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 11:50 am

I’m about to feel that pain again here next month! I’ve kinda blocked it all out of my mind with newborns, haha…

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36 Chris @ Mindful Explorer March 23, 2018 at 11:54 am

Chasing money to fill the void of something else they subconsciously desire
We are all guilty in this department and we will be better off when we can see this for it’s truth and find a way to change it. Something you have been doing a great job helping others try to achieve.

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37 Jim March 23, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Currently, #1 on my list is patience. I want more patience. I NEED more patience. Right now, we are 5 days into a kitchen renovation which is taking a mental toll on everyone involved. Yesterday, the old oven was removed, and somehow the gas to the furnace was shut off, so consequently we had no heat last night (the Chicago area is not very warm yet this spring). A space heater kept the bedrooms warm enough for sleeping last night (and the contractors fixed the problem already this morning), but needless to say, the Mrs. was not very happy about it. She’s been taking the brunt of everything so far since she works at home while I get to leave and head to the office every day. When I get home, I hear all about all of the things that went wrong with the remodel which is bad enough, but then add the teenagers on top of that, and it seems like a constant barrage of complaints. I’ve been good about keeping my cool so far, but I’m running out of patience by the second. Who knows, maybe more beer will help!!

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38 J. Money March 23, 2018 at 2:11 pm

ACK!!! Sending you loads of good vibes, man! you can do it!!! Pick up a 12 pack on your way home tonight! Haha.. or even better – visit a cemetery :) That’s my trick to fixing all temporary problems because people in there have *permanent* ones – eep!

http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/why-im-obsessed-with-cemeteries/

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39 Mrs. Money March 23, 2018 at 5:56 pm

I wouldn’t mind some extra sleep too! Kids are brutal. How much longer until you have a newborn, J Money?

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40 J. Money March 26, 2018 at 7:36 am

Hey old friend!!!

Love seeing you here again – can you believe we’ve been blogging for 10 years now???

Baby #3 comes in roughly one month – eek!

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41 Jason March 24, 2018 at 6:21 pm

I know this is cliche, but I would say money, but not necessarily retirement. We are in the middle of finishing off IVF and going for adoption. That comes with a lot of costs….like 40-50k. Right now I don’t have it. So if I had that in the bank I might feel a little calmer.

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42 J. Money March 26, 2018 at 7:37 am

Ugh, I’m sorry to hear that man…. that is def. a lot of $$$ :(

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43 FIRECracker March 25, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Wow, feeling super fortunate to be able to say I have enough in all those categories ;)

Interesting to see beer and sex as the two lowest ones :P Maybe people want more money so they can get all the other things in the list.

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44 J. Money March 26, 2018 at 7:38 am

You’re a lucky lady :)

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45 Tainted Tiara March 26, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Definitely money. I’m doing everything I can by working two jobs and paying 60 percent of my income toward Parent PLUS loans. If those loans were gone, I’d have more money for beer and more time for sleep and sex!

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46 J. Money March 27, 2018 at 6:27 am

hot damn! you’re workin’ it!

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