What is Enough For You?
Kia Ora, from New Zealand, friends and colleagues
What is a Sense of Enough
As human beings we are able to develop values through our capabilities as verbal, symbolic creatures who are capable of imagining things that have never been. This allows us to think, in a creative way, about how we might advance a current situation into an improved state of affairs or circumstances.
We are blessed with the exquisite power of language, a tool which we use, to analyse and describe ours’, and others’, behaviors. This in essence allows us to exercise control over those behaviours. However, this amazing tool of language has a double-edge to it. Our human symbolic constructs that lead to us holding values, cross Quixote quickly with our natural human impulse to measure and compare ourselves. This leads to a state where many of us are rarely satisfied, seldom happy, never quite at peace.
The Dark Side of Imagination
As we mature and are influenced by the people and experiences around us, we become increasingly and often unconsciously preoccupied with achievement and its associated trappings; money, power, and domination of others as our developed and actually artificial values. We present a mask to the world, thereby preventing genuine connections with others.
Values get us to that desired state of ‘enough’; they make our lives all about those things we hold dear, into the next moment, and the next. With values, we are likely to look back and say, "I am committed to helping others. I will never help as much as I might need to, or want to, but I'm on the journey to get there."
However, because what generates vitality and meaning in our psyche is so close to what generates comparison and judgment, we will often fall into the trap of going beyond enough to more.
However, if we regard values as qualities of, being and doing, rather than labels which we need to cloak ourselves in as self-righteous protection, then we can stay with enough and avoid straying towards more. In this way actions become loving, kind and honest. If as we go through life, each action is values-connected, then the journey is travelled with one's life being enough.
Enough is Enough
Most, when asked, would say they work to provide for their families. While important and even true, it is quite separate from the values that keep them moving forward. Money accorded value as a means to choices and sustenance of a comfortable life is understandably important. Money valued as a means to an end, for instance to be able to help others, is one thing.
It becomes something quite different however when money elicits comparison, judgment, and avoidance of the pain that comes with being human. Money seen in this context, no matter how successful we might be, will always lead to a want for more. It's a desire that is never fulfilled, and is why so many, who find themselves with huge wealth, turn to philanthropy (Rockefeller, Carnegie, Buffet, Gates et al.).
We will of course all vary on the relative dominance of comparisons of more and less in our personal mindsets. A recent psychology study demonstrated, perhaps unsurprisingly, that those responding strongly to more and less, tended to profess less satisfaction with life, and experienced increased negative perception, compared to those who demonstrated weaker more and less response.
In short, people who always want more, are demonstrably more miserable, because they are psychologically predisposed never to have enough!
From New Zealand, friends and colleagues, good afternoon
Kia Koa, Kia Kaha