People say life runs on hope. I say life runs on needs such as the need to survive, to learn, to prosper and to amass wealth. Your life revolves around these different kinds and stages of needs. Its interesting to see how these needs change as you grow from infant to adulthood and then to old age.
I am highly jealous of the life that infant has. Their needs are short and temporary such as crying for milk or attention. At the very next moment, he or she will be cuddling all over you.
However, as we reach the adulthood, the definition of needs get stretched, tangled and extended beyond your capacity. At this stage, the need is confusion. Your needs get unwarranted attention from every corners of your life circle such as career counselor, professional networks, parent's expectation, friends' influence and the underlying pressure of society in which you live in.
The need at this stage is cornered by choices. These choices create confusion between who you are and what you want to become. In most Asian culture, the choice is the latter. By doing this, your need has come to an end. You become an object of others as defined by family and community members. The "real you" has unsuccessfully negotiated with the "other you." From this moment, this other you will define the rest of your life.
As you grow older, the other you becomes the real you. You are now an important object of your society and community. You start to think of your need in terms of how this society or community will pass the judgement.
Whether you realize or not, you have completely changed into the choices you made earlier i.e., what you want to become. This new change was designed by others for you. This others now includes your educational and professional achievements.
To turn the circle round, you start to become others to young adult whose needs are in confusion. You become a part of their others who helps to draw their choices.
As you keep running your life on these needs, you never realize that majority of these needs are not your needs. Its what others want from you. Basically, majority of your life runs on wants set forth for you by others. When you realize this, you may be living the last stage of your life with a plenty of wealth to leave for others. Who are these others? It depends. Do you know your others?
Also read: Buddhism According to I, Me and Self and More vs. Less: Who is the Winner?