Arguably, humans have never had it so good. Now before you start throwing every single reason and example as to why this is not the case (hence my “arguably” qualification), life is pretty good actually.
Technology and other advancements have brought untold opportunities and benefits to us, making our lives longer and better. Yes, we still have poverty, pestilence, wars and other potential catastrophes waiting to happen, but compared to previous generations,
[w]e are now living well enough and long enough to slowly fall apart.Robert M. Sapolsky
Yet we still find ourselves besieged by challenges, problems, predicaments and other situations, consuming our lives, worrying us silly. Many of these arise due to our perennial search for happiness while others materialise because we are frankly, lonely. Add direct and/or indirect peer pressure via social media and other mediums, these predicaments can drive us into a very negative state.
“First world problems” you say? Agree. But who’d have them? Why do we have so many of these? What drives them? More importantly, how do we stop them? So many questions and not necessarily ones I want to tackle. But don’t get me wrong, these “first world problems” can get worse, get to us and for some people, this could be very harmful.
I certainly don’t have all the answers but lately, I have been thinking about the word “enough“. You don’t hear this word often now, except perhaps if you are getting in trouble for something.
Enough is an important word that we desperately need back in our vocabularies, our psyche and in how we live our lives. We need to move away from being victims of “I need, what’s next, just one more and I don’t want to miss out” traps and realise that many times, we have enough.
Not recognising we have enough leads us down this vicious spiral of having and wanting more, yet never being satisfied. We have become hoarders that paradoxically throw away what is no longer wanted as we move on to the next thing. Repeat after me – “I need, what’s next, just one more and I don’t want to miss out”.
- When do we say, enough? Hint, it has nothing to do with being able to afford things.
- How do we know when we have enough? Please understand that your version of enough, is different to mine but I would bet we all probably have a lot more than what we really need.
- How do we set ourselves up so we can successfully say enough and not feel stifled or guilted about it? Let’s face it, we work hard, we deserve certain things and sometimes being compulsive is a lot of fun.
I’m trying hard on enough too and have found one of the best things to do is to write our future. When we write our future and are descriptive in the “who, where, when, why, what and how“, we are effectively setting up a framework that guides us in terms of what really matters to us. And like any good framework, it creates certain boundaries that help us determine what should be a “yes” and what should be a “no” in our lives.
Writing our future is also a great way to help us declutter, both mentally and physically. This process helps us navigate more adeptly the “I need, what’s next, just one more and I don’t want to miss out” of our lives and celebrate that we have, well, enough.
Have you had enough on this topic yet? Before I go though, I leave you with a paragraph from the book Enough:
At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have . . . enough.”Jack C. Bogle, as read in the Collaborative Fund Blog