Knowing When Enough Is Enough

December 26, 2013
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Knowing what we want is perhaps the most elusive trick in life. So often, we think we know but once we get it, there is still a hole waiting to be filled. There are very few people who awake one day with a calling that will sustain them throughout a lifetime. Those fortunate enough to bear that gift are usually made saints. Or martyrs.


Some of us want money. Others want fame or simply to find love. Some of us want beauty. Some want to travel the world. Most of us want something that winds up being less than we expected it would be once we get it.

What is there after there’s enough? Human beings seem to be designed to then want more. That’s how monetary systems are successful. That’s how governments are run. That’s how even the most generous natures among us become hardened and self-serving. Satisfaction is a carrot that we can chase to our death if we never find that place where enough is enough.

There are great stories in the news about people who have awakened to their calling. People who genuinely derive pleasure from the lives they face every morning and take a rest from every night. We share these stories on Facebook and seek them out as an alternative to all the depressing stories of lives that we rail against when we talk with friends about the state of the world. Many studies have been done which show that altruism is one of the most prevalent factors in a happy life. Most of the people in those happy news stories are doing work that gives more to the word than it brings home. Many of the people in those stories are not asking what they want, they are doing what they are compelled to do without thought for what they’ll get in return.

We need very little to live a comfortable existence. A lot of us have enough to spare if we really take stock of all that we have. There might be relief in letting up a little in terms of achievement from the social perspective and instead, navigating the waters of personal self worth.

What if we simply wanted enough, with some to share?

This is not a new or an original notion. Just a reminder, especially during this holiday season when thoughts are frequently centered around what more we need rather than how much we already have.

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