@JoeYevoli and I had a great conversation the other night, as he wraps up his month spent living with my family and me on Cape Cod.  We spent a lot of time discussing what it takes to be a good person, and a lot of our theories pointed back to our youth, and how we were raised.

I consider myself extremely fortunate.  I have loving parents who supported me through school, sports, activities, etc., all while running the family business (a restaurant).  Sure, sometimes I was picked up late from hockey practice by one of the cooks, but my parents made it work.  And not just work, but they were (and are) successful.

But that didn’t mean my sister and I had it easy.  We were taught to work, too.  By the time I was 13, I had two jobs.  At 15, I was working three summer jobs - a dockhand by day and at night scooping ice cream at Smitty’s or bussing tables/dishwashing at the family restaurant.

My parents fed me.  Housed me.  Put me through school.  My basic needs were taken care of.  Why was I working so much?

I brought up our conversation to my dad last night.

“It’s needs versus want.  We took care of what you needed.  If you wanted something, you had to work for it.”

It’s a simple premise, but I think it’s lost on a lot of people these days, and it applies to more than just wanting spending money.  It’s about working hard, and placing a value on your time, and your life.

In my experience, I’ve grown to appreciate the things I need in life.  Sure, there are occasions when I want things that I don’t need - Smitty’s Ice Cream or a night out with friends - and I like being able to afford them with my hard-earned money, but I place less and less value on frivolous expenditures and a greater value on the things I need.

Think about it, really, and apply it to your life.  Consider what you need and what you want, and over time, you may find that what you need, is only what you want after all.

Like right now, I need to get back to work (and it’s what I want, too!).