I want to have enough money.
I want to earn enough respect and recognition.
I want to have enough success.
I want to attain enough security.
I want to feel enough happiness and love.
Do you have enough? Or does the above sound familiar? Do you wish for things like this when you allow yourself to think about the future?
I wish I had enough.
If you find yourself wishing to feel that you have enough of whatever it is you think is lacking in your life, I have bad news for you. There is no such thing as enough.
Unless you clearly define what it is you want and understand why you're striving to obtain it, you will never be satisfied or fulfilled by wherever you are right now.
The Bar of Progress Is Never Static
I remember graduating college and wanting nothing more than to earn more money so I could experience more in life. I wish I had enough money to travel. I wish I had enough money to go to the grocery store and buy whatever I wanted. I wish I had enough money to feel comfortable.
I never clearly defined what "enough" money was. At the time, it was just "more."
That was four years ago. I earn 72 percent more today than I did when I had those thoughts.
And I still find myself thinking, I wish I had enough.
I struggle to feel satisfied with where I'm at in life, whether we're talking about finances or not. I'm future-focused -- and ambitious. Something in my mind is wired to make me think, if I'm not striving for more then I am getting behind.
There's no such thing as enough because the bar is always moving if you want to find success. If you're ambitious and driven and focused on achieving, you always tell yourself that you could do more.
You laser in on getting to the next ledge on your climb to the top. But even after you reach a higher plane, your eyes never really stop looking at the summit.
Throw in something or someone else to compare yourself to, and then the idea of what is enough can really start messing with your head. How did that other person climb higher than you so quickly, so effortlessly? Why aren't you at the same level?
Never mind that you don't know when that person started their climb, what kind of resources they used to scale their own mountain, or what the terrain looks like over there. All you see is that someone else is further along on their path -- and on your path, all you notice is the vertical climb ahead.
You focus on what lies ahead -- the next level of perceived "enough" -- with such intensity that you completely miss when you actually make progress. You don't notice when you arrive.
The funny thing is, you arrive at the level you thought was impossible to get to a month, six months, a year ago.
While a month, six months, a year ago that place seemed like enough, now that you're there all you can think is how you should keep going. Climb higher.
You Have Enough As and Where You Are
Consider what you miss out on when this happens. You never reach a new ledge and pause. You don't take the opportunity to evaluate your progress or enjoy and appreciate how wonderful it feels to make it this far.
And you certainly don't turn away from your climb up your mountain to take in the remarkable views from your current vantage point.
You miss what life looks like from right here, right now. You miss what experiences this point in time and place can offer.
This is the danger of focusing so intensely on that mythical future scenario in which you have enough that you fail to actually experience anything as it happens. The days begin to bend and blur. They all look the same. It's all hustle, all the time.
But please, stop. Just for a moment, stop and listen:
Your work is enough.
Your money is enough.
You are enough.
Believing there is enough is the only way to make it so. Otherwise, that climb up your mountain, that climb to the top, will not have an end.
Have a little faith that you'll make progress in your own time. After all, how could you not? You're talented and capable. You're clever and resourceful. You're tenacious and driven. Of course you'll be better, more, farther along one day.
So in the meantime, you can show up and do your work -- and enjoy that process instead of endlessly seeking a better result. Enjoy every day you learn something new or try something different. Appreciate your growth as it happens. Appreciate where you are today, and how far you've come so far.
You may feel that you will never have enough. But there is today, now, this present moment.
And when you think about it that way, then you can see you have enough. You always have enough.
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