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Define your "Enough"

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Have you ever asked yourself if you have "enough?" Enough What? Enough of anything that is on your heart as a desire, a struggle, a place, a thing. Enough can be defined many ways. Dictionary defines it to say "as much or as many of something as required". Miriam-Webster states it as "in or to a degree or quantity that satisfies or that is sufficient or necessary for satisfaction : sufficiently. : fully, quite." The point is that we often do not stop and think about what really is "enough" in our lives to give us satisfaction, or the feeling of being full, or having sufficient. Without contemplating our enough, I find it to be SO HARD to really feel true contentment and fulfillment in life.

I recently had a rather humbling experience with my definition of “enough “ when our washing machine broke. With five people in our home, it seems like our washer is constantly running, so the fact that it broke was a major kink in our laundry routine. In the month that we were waiting for our new machine to be delivered, we spent quite a few days at the laundromat. It was a bit of an annoyance to drag 7 loads of laundry into the car and make an afternoon of cleaning laundry. One particular day there was a little old lady needed help out to her car with her tiny load of clothing. As I was lifting her basket into the car, her basket rope got caught on the car door. As we untangled it, she explained to me that the rope is attached to her basket so she can drag her clothes basket from her car into the house because it’s too heavy for her to lift. Her full basket weighed less than 7 pounds.

Here I was annoyed at the minor inconvenience of being at the laudromat AGAIN. And this woman, for her, this was her EVERY WEEK. Dragging her little 7 pound basket there to do her half load of laundry before heading home to do the monumental task of dragging her basket behind her walker to get in her front door. Boy did she remind me to have perspective. It’s like being in the ocean and feeling those rolling waves gently lift you up and down, only to be taken off guard when you turn to see one of those massive ones come and completely throw you off balance and smash you underwater. It was like that. My tiny inconvenience was a drop in the water compared to her reality. A humble reminder to shaddup and stop complaining when the life that God gave you is pretty darn great. And that maybe, perhaps, I needed to put my “enough” in check.

Happiness Expert Mo Gawdat summarizes this beautifully in his life’s work studying happiness. The happiness expert explains we each are born with about 30 million minutes of active life (roughly 57 years)…so you are a millionaire already. Every minute you use, you are exchanging that minute for something else. If our only real life asset is this 30 million minutes to spend on our ambitions. The important part is to recognize when to stop and say ‘no more of my minutes are needed to create more and more and more ambition’.

Defining our “enough” is the foundation of our happiness. I know this to be true in my own life, that pausing and really thinking about what is enough more me has deeply changed how I approach my spending and my use of time. When I buy a blouse and hang it in my closet, do I now have “enough” blouses? Would one more fill some unmet need in my wardrobe, or is what I have enough to clothe me in my day to day life? What about my ambition…when I hit a major business goal, did I stop and pause long enough to ask myself if I needed to now make another even larger business goal? When is enough, enough?

As Mo explains:

“When do you stop and say ‘no more of my minutes are needed…There are only 2 rewarding minutes you can spend. One is a minute to a connection to a human, to an animal, to the environment. The other is a minute of giving. And I’m not saying this because I am a lovely spiritual guru. It is very selfish. Giving is an incredible joy, it truly is. And there is a ton of research where they give $20 to people and ask them to give it for family and friends. Your happiness goes through the roof.”

I challenge you today to take a few moments today and define your "enough."


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