Why is it so hard to say 'I have enough'?
We live in a time where 'more' is the mindset that we are encouraged to adopt.
- More money.
- More fame.
- More stuff.
- More experiences.
- More muscles.
- More achievements.
- More influence.
And even when we get more - it never seems quite enough.
The world doesn't make it easy. We're living in a time where:
- it always seems there's a newer model of the thing we bought last month.
- we're constantly reminded on social media of what everyone else has, is doing and is achieving and of what we don't have, are not doing and are not achieving.
- we're constantly being offered limited-time 'upgrades' and 'upsizes' on everything (which we can have now and pay for later)
- so many of us seem to tie our self-worth to how much we have and achieve.
This beautiful song from Greatest Showman may make a good theme song for our world.
Never Enough! Never Never. Never Enough! Never Never. For Me...
More has become Normal
Just yesterday, I was looking at the 'subscription plans' of a service that promised to deliver me 'more' of a certain thing every month than their competitors.
The three options were laid out in a table, but as often happens these days, one was highlighted as MOST POPULAR - and, of course, it cost just a little more.
When I clicked the lesser option, a popup opened on the screen that screamed at me in capital letters, "ARE YOU SURE YOU DON'T WANT MORE?" (I kid you not).
Hard Wired for More?
Some scientists believe that 'seeking more' is wired into our brains, and I suspect there's a truth in that.
As a human species, our surviving and thriving have, at least to some extent, been built on a long history of our ancestors not being satisfied with the status quo and striving for more!
I am grateful that Alexander Flemming didn't think he'd had enough after his early studies and discoveries and that he went on to discover penicillin.
I'm glad that Professor Sarah Gilbert and her team didn't rest on their laurels of the universal flu vaccine but wanted more - and came up with the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.
I'm grateful that many inventors and innovators in many fields wanted more. Our lives today are better for it.
More is good - very good!
Until it becomes 'more than enough'.
How much is Enough?
John D. Rockerfeller (the wealthiest person in the world at the time) was said to be asked, 'how much money is enough'.
His answer famously was "just a little more."
We may scoff at his answer and point at the crazy purchases of today's billionaires, but I find myself seeking 'just a little more' on a daily basis when perhaps I too, have enough.
And I'm not just talking about money or possessions. The striving for more when we have enough extends to many areas of life. More food, more achievements, more experiences, more influence - the list goes on.
Today I was reading one of my favourite poets - David Whyte - who wrote this short poem - Enough - in his book Where Many Rivers Meet.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to life
we have refused
again and again
As I pondered the poem this afternoon, I asked a question.
How would I live differently if I lived from an 'enough mindset' rather than a 'more mindset'?
- How would I spend my time?
- How would I sleep at night?
- How would I use my money?
- What would I focus my work upon?
- How would I breathe?
- What would I seek and strive for?
I suspect my life would be different.
Maybe my life should be different - because 'I have enough'.
My prompt this week is twofold.
I'm sure we could easily list some things we think we lack or want more of.... but put that aside (for now) and ponder what you have enough of.
As I've tried to emphasise above, I don't want us to write off working for more. I plan to have a prompt later in the year on the topics of 'work' and 'striving'.
I'm very aware that not everyone has 'enough' money or possessions and that there are areas in which our society should not be satisfied with the status quo and needs more work.
We can always do and be better - but in the midst of our striving, perhaps there's also a need for a circuit breaker to help us evaluate how we're going.
I look forward to hearing how you find this week's prompts in our Facebook Group! As always - feel free to add your ideas and experiences and to share this week's prompt with anyone who you think will find it of benefit!
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