How much is enough?

November 14, 2012 - 23:45 -- Dr. Ada

In our society, we often want more of everything: more money, more gadgets, more clothes, more shoes, more aps for your smart phone, more hours in the day, more success, you name it! The problem is that many times after you get more, you still want more.

I submit that you need to seriously ask yourself: How much is enough? How much do I need in order to be satisfied?

What does enough mean?

Enough doesn’t mean the same thing for everybody. It is a very personal metric. What someone will find enough, you might find totally inadequate. But maybe there is a general way to think about this:

Enough means having enough to live, enough to be happy, enough to grow and thrive.

This meaning could be applied both at the individual and the organizational level.

What does “enough” looks like in your life?

Before you get your next promotion, or get your “dream” house, you should sit down and define what enough will look like in your life. Otherwise, you could spent your life chasing “enough” and never feeling satisfaction.

Every activity has its built-in questions of what is enough. Should I add more salt? Should I write one more paragraph? Should I stay one more hour at my desk? There is always a point of no return, a need to commit to a certain path, a particular focus. A moment when you get to enough.

Many times simple things can give more satisfaction, a sense that you have enough. I keep learning to find satisfaction in simple things:

  • A warm, sunny day when I take the time to go outside and listen to the birds.
  • A tight embrace from my husband.
  • A call from a friend.
  • A client that is thankful for his growth.
  • A meeting that went well.

What about you? Is there ever a moment when you lean back in your executive chair, or in your garden chair and say to yourself, “Ahh! I’ve finally got enough. I am satisfied with what I have!”?

Or once an acquisition is completed, or your salary doubles, do you experience an anticlimactic sensation that leaves you hungry for the next merger, the next financial triumph?

I hear many people say:

Once I reach a point when I have all the money I want, I will relax and enjoy the fruit of my labors.

The problem is that many continue on a never ending quest for more riches, more fame, more things, the next goal. And then, by the time they want to “enjoy” things, they are so run down and sick that now they don’t have enough health and energy to enjoy anything.

How do you know when you have enough?

In my own experience, and through my work with others, I’ve noticed a few consistent qualities in the lives of people who know how much is enough for them at any given moment.

  1. They have a sense of purpose. It’s a purpose larger than their own needs, wants and desires. Desires can be never ending. You fill one, and another emerges. A sense of purpose helps you sort real needs from whims and preferences and directs your attention to those things that will really serve your mission. A sense of purpose helps you understand how your life and choices fit into the larger social and spiritual scheme of things.
  2. They can account for their money and their time. They know where it comes from, where it goes, and how much they need for their needs. If you don’t know how much you have, you can never have enough.
  3. They have an internal yardstick for fulfillment. Their sense of what is enough isn’t based on what others have or don’t have, are or aren’t. It’s based on a capacity to look inside and see if something is really adding to your happiness, or just feeding your ego.

Remember. . .

Enough comes from trying things out, from challenging your preconceptions. It comes from having less, trying more, then maybe reducing to find out what is enough. It comes from letting go of those fears that aim to knock you off balance and send you running towards more or less. It doesn't come from using what others have or not have as your measure of enough.

Enough comes when you find that sweet spot between needing more and wanting more. A place where you feel gratitude and appreciation.  A place where you have access to the bigger picture and can gain perspective, because you have a bigger purpose than yourself.

Find and enjoy that sweet place of enough!

Let’s work together to find what is enough for you and your best path for development. To find out more, simply click here.

Photo by: a href="" title="Too many toys by Upsilon Andromedae, on Flickr">Upsilon Andromedae