Needless Thinking about Needs (2012)
“Needless Thinking about Needs” is often described as analysis through storytelling. Composed of true stories, it explores the world of illusions, fortune and misfortune, human needs, the relativity of happiness, and problems related to self-awareness.
About the Book
Some people have the fortune (or misfortune) to have plenty of money and a lot of free time. That can create the perfect conditions for them to discover their own (and other people’s) hidden aspects. That is also how some new needs are born, quite unexpectedly.
Money can bring you more free time and fun. You can buy whatever you want. However, all fun things come to an end eventually. And then, when the fun is over, you might find yourself alone with your thoughts. Where will they lead you?
Needless Thinking about Needs offers the picture of real life behind the illusion of comfort and happiness.
I was lucky enough to get to know a few people whose stories simply had to be told. There were also some thoughts I could not keep to myself and it was just a matter of time when they would see the light of day. I felt I had something to say about the topics this book deals with: needs, money, illusions and happiness.
The characters in this book are based on real people, but every character is a composite of several different personalities. Some of the personalities I came across were very similar to each other, which made it easy (and natural) to fuse them into one character. This too shows that human beings are more similar to each other than they think. It will not be difficult for you to recognize somebody you know (or even yourself) in some parts of this book. The decision to use fictional names and to modify characters is also my way of showing respect for the people who, knowingly or unknowingly, did their part in helping me write this book. Some of them are no longer alive. I feel the need to express immense gratitude to the people who shared their stories with me.
While researching and talking to several people who could be called wealthy, it was not really important for me to know how they acquired their wealth or the extent of it. I was interested in something else. I wanted to know how they saw life and happiness. What were their needs, wishes, illusions, ambitions, sacrifices and where did they find their purpose? Even though the majority of people on the planet find that money is extremely important, does money really have the power to bring perfect happiness? What needs did those people have in common, and how did these needs drive them to making various mistakes? You will find at times that female characters express a deep need for love and understanding, but you will also see the various ways of striving to fulfill it and different results of each of those ways of struggle. You will see that in other characters, satisfying that same need has a completely different goal and purpose. You will also see how satisfying other people’s needs influences some of the characters. The need for security (which many people believe can be fulfilled with money) will be examined as well.
How much comfort and security can money really bring? This book will attempt to answer this question, and what makes it credible is the fact that it comes from “first-hand” experience. It is true that characters have been altered, but their stories are not invented. I have shared some of these experiences indirectly through talk or directly as a witness to certain events. In addition, these stories could have happened just about anywhere – Belgrade, New York or Milan. These events could have taken place in your neighborhood. While you’re enjoying your afternoon coffee, one of these stories could be happening just a few blocks away from your house. Stories like these can happen at any time, in any place. In a certain way, they happen to all of us.
I tried to understand each of those people. I tried to present them truthfully, and to highlight the personality traits most essential for sending out the message this book carries. It was very difficult to portray certain characters accurately without sounding judgmental. Nevertheless, they are here to help us see ourselves and the world around us a bit better, to understand ourselves and each other, to learn to recognize the moment when it becomes necessary to stop thinking and move on – in other words: to save ourselves and those around us.
Having a lot of money opens up many possibilities; one of them is the possibility of coming face to face with what is darkest inside you. Wealth enables us to buy whatever we wish for. People who become rich seldom stop to ask “Do I really need this?” Many of them are now living in a dimension very different from the one in which they lived before they became rich. All the needs they had before becoming wealthy are finally fulfilled, but they have also discovered new needs, and every day they keep discovering more of them – or they simply make up new needs that are impossible to fulfill.
In some of the people I met, I recognized the emergence of new needs, and the mistakes that, truth be told, are frequently made by many of us (including me). Some people are well on their way to make them, and this book could help them avoid such or similar mistakes. It is my hope that some of this will get to people, help them understand themselves and the world that surrounds them, possibly change some things, and accept the ones they can’t change.