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Three Needs Practice

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

Three Needs is the name of a bar we used to attend in college. It's best known for it's Duff Hour, where patrons can drink for an incredible deal while watching the Simpsons. It's a great scene for poor college students who need a comic relief. And if you're in the know, you can ask to see, "The Book of Needs."

The Book of Needs holds the three needs that people decide to commemorate for all to read. While the original Three Needs theory assumes everyone shares the same needs, those immortalized in this Book of Needs come in all varieties in both nature and time-span. Many graduating college students from nearby universities write their three needs in The Book of Needs.

While this is arguably a clever marketing gimmick, the practice naming my three needs has stuck with me ever since I completed this rite of passage. It can often be daunting when someone asks, "What are your needs in this moment?" Somehow the container of limiting it to three can support a deeper inquiry.

Limiting our needs to three can also support our capacity in a similar way that the Pomodoro Technique supports our productivity. The aforementioned technique contains our tasks into 3 productive sections of time with a break; similarly, considering our needs in increments of 3 can support our capacity to meet them. It's hard to meet something that is not named and it's hard to be the best version of ourselves when our needs are not met.

As we step away from mid-term elections and move toward the holiday season, I invite you to join me in this practice of naming and meeting our needs, three at a time. Perhaps begin with something immediate: what are my three needs in this moment? Maybe changing position, taking a deep breath, looking away from the computer screen.

Consider practicing this throughout the day. Set an alarm during moments that allow you to step away from external demands and allow you to check-in with yourself. Play with the increment of time as you ask. The more you practice, the easier it will become.

If this resonates with you the way it did me, I invite you to consider setting some time aside at the beginning of whatever time period you'll check-in about. For example, at the beginning of the day, check-in with your needs for the day. At the beginning of your week, your month; check-in and write them down.

As a bonus, I invite you to visualize those needs being met. It can be detailed or as simple as noticing how that feels in your body; to consider these three needs being met. Do different needs have leave you with a different feeling? Notice how it feels to have them met and notice how this practice supports you as you move through your day.

In summary, consider the steps below. If you would like support in this practice, let's schedule a complimentary consultation! I would be honored to come alongside your journey.

Three Needs Practice

  1. At the beginning of your day/week/month, take a moment to write down your three needs for that time period.

  2. Take a moment to ground yourself, through breath, music, or however you practice this, and visualize these needs being met, one at a time.

  3. Notice how this visualization feels in your body. Where you do feel sensation?

  4. Consider setting an intention that supports your three needs and thank yourself for giving yourself this attention.

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