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The concept of enough — Finding happiness and peace

What is enough and why knowing that will bring you happiness

Throughout our lives, everyone has taught you to become more successful in some way. This might also make you happy to some point. But without knowing your point of enough, this journey will never satisfy you fully, as there is always more available.

Photo by Abbat on Unsplash

The first lessons of life

We are taught to always reach for the highest grapes. We need the best education to increase our chances of finding a well-paying job that will allow us to live a satisfied life. We hope to find happiness there and hurry through our lives, always waiting for the next step to make us happier. This search costs us more than we might like to admit, but that’s okay because everyone understands it:

  • It’s accepted that you’re going incredibly deep into debt to pay for an education that you don’t know if you even want.
  • It is accepted to pay everything on credit to maintain a high standard of living.
  • It is accepted to go into immense debt for home ownership, even if it costs us double and is no longer such a wise investment.
  • It is accepted to strive for more and the better. Always looking for the next update as soon as we have some money left over: the better apartment, the better car, the higher status, the more expensive tools that reflect our ambition and social standing.

What is enough?

Many of us are doing pretty well. We are educated to find a job and get food on the table to cover our basics. I know that in times of recession, many things become more difficult and we end up with less at the end of the month than before.

Enough depends on the income and lifestyle, circumstances of everybody of us. For a banker it will be different than for someone who grows his own vegetables and avoids most consumption. It is ok to be different and it is ok to want to have more luxury in your life than others. We are free and can decide for ourselves.

Enough is the point where we are fully satisfied and an update is no longer a great joy.
Where we want to have something instead of doing something concrete.

Something that doesn’t really have any significant use anymore — something we don’t need. Definitely nothing that fulfills us. Perhaps even something that we would have been better off not affording and would have preferred to put the money aside or invest it in order to do something more meaningful with it later.

Enough is the common peak of desire and fulfillment.
Desire is infinite.
More desire always brings less and less satisfaction.

Where that peak lies depends a lot on your financial freedom. 
But it seems natural that we want more than we need.

Photo by Radu Marcusu on Unsplash

One example.

  • How many unread books do you need that fill your home?
  • How many books do you still have, that you didn’t like.
  • How many books do you keep, that you won’t read a second time?
  • How many books do you bought, because it’s something everybody should have?
  • How many books made you a second time happier after buying them?

Replace “books” with something that fits you better 😉

Knowing enough

Becoming aware of what we really want requires some self-work, but the time we invest is worth it.

  • Which purchases really made you happy in the last month?
  • What was the most valuable time that you spend last month? Was this related to money?
  • What disappointed you in the end because you had hoped for more?

Find out why you want it
We all take money for things that fulfill us, that’s ok.

But take a look deeper — we love to pay ourself a reward for hard work, when we earned it. We all try to buy some happiness when we are tired and burned out. The small extra motivation on our way to work or additional goodie after a sweaty and energy-sapping work week with abandon. Frustration purchases have never made anyone happy because they are usually not invested wisely in the things that really matter to us. They are just our personal reward system.

Find your low hanging fruits
Maybe we don’t need the best in every area of our life, because we anyhow don’t really care about it. In which areas would you like to spend less?

Everything that can be measured should be measured and compared.
We all get the same electricity. Most likely the same water or internet. 
We care about the service level, not really about the provider.

We tend to over-estimate things.

  • What have you really used from all the stuff that you have?
  • Do you used all your subscriptions that you pay for?

What do you pay for your fear?

  • What are your fears? Do you have insurance that you never used so far?
  • Are you scared of being alone — how many portals are you registered on?
  • What do you fear to loose?

What do you pay for status?
We all live in communities and maybe we gained some rewards and would like to keep our status high.

  • What do you pay to please others?
  • What do you do because it is expected of you?
  • Do you spend money for your status or for yourself?

Often we don’t pay for things with money. We pay with time.

Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

Why knowing this will make you happy?

  • You don’t invest in things that don’t fulfill you.
  • You have more money and time for things you are passioned about.
  • You can now also build wealth, because you have money over.
  • You reprioritize things that are more important to you.

Finding areas that we care less than we thought, will help us to find the things in life, that we really care about. It will make our life more meaningful and joyful at the same time.

The noise around us becomes quieter. We are less often distracted and can spend more meaningful time with people and activities we care about.

If you are interested in these topics. 
Here are some recommended resources:

Now it’s up to you. Reflect your life: what are things you don’t really care about? What are you paying too much for with time or money?

Knowing that will bring you joy, happiness and freedom.

Thanks for reading ✌️
Stefan Heißenberg

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