Trainer Tip: Find your deepest need. Then notice when you do things, or have done things, that keep you from meeting your most important need. And then take conscious action that is in alignment with the need you want to meet. Trainer Tip "The difference between a dream and a goal is a timeline." —Dr. Phil McGraw You will experience relief and joy if you take conscious action that is in alignment with the needs you want to meet. In my first Nonviolent Communication class, the trainer led us through a process in which we each identified our greatest need. All eight participants were surprised at what they discovered about themselves. The next exercise was to identify everything we did to meet that need. Without exception, all of us did things that kept us from meeting our most important need. Mine was a need for connection, yet I actively kept people at bay. I was disheartened to realize that I had spent my life making it impossible to meet this need. Then the trainer said: “But wait. It’s okay. Nonviolent Communication helps us first identify what our greatest needs are, and it then helps us create strategies to meet them.” That is exactly what Nonviolent Communication has done for me: identify what I need, then choose strategies that are in alignment with it. This simple technique has profoundly changed my life. Notice what your greatest need is today and then take action to meet it. This trainer tip is an excerpt from Mary Mackenzie's book, Peaceful Living, available from PuddleDancer Press.