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Have you had enough?

Posted in the following categories: Life Lessons, Personal Development

We had had enough. More than enough.

We were driving back from OK Omens, one of our favorite restaurants in Portland, after an amazing dinner outdoors. Since the pandemic, we don’t eat out much, and when we do, the dinner turns into a full-blown feast.

During the drive home, we were chatting about how stuffed we both were. Kathy turned to me and said: “It’s strange. When it comes to eating, we know when we’ve had enough. But we don’t do that in other aspects of life.”

She’s right.

We try to squeeze in another hour of work—even though we’ve worked enough.

We try to make more money—even though we make enough.

We want more attention and more praise—even though no amount of it will make us happy for the long haul.

Our body is wise. When we stuff ourselves, it loudly tells us to stop eating.

But our ego is foolish. It craves more money, more attention—more fill-in-the-blank—even though we have more than enough.

You want to be a millionaire? Once your bank account reaches seven figures, you’ll start aiming for eight. You want 1,000 followers? Once you get there, you’ll want 10,000—and then 100,000.

If you don’t define what “enough” looks like for you, you’ll never know when you’re satiated. You’ll keep stuffing yourself, well past the point of satisfaction.

So ask yourself: What does “enough” look like for you? How will you know when you get there? 

And perhaps the most important question of all: Once you’ve had enough, what will you do then? We often don’t know what we’d do, and don’t want to put in the effort to figure it out, so we keep mindlessly overindulging.

I’ll leave you with the story that Kurt Vonnegut tells of a conversation he had with Joseph Heller, the author of the novel Catch-22. The two were at a party hosted by a billionaire. Vonnegut turned to Heller and said: “How does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday made more money than your novel Catch-22 has earned in its entire history?”

“I’ve got something he can never have,” Heller replied.

“What on earth could that be, Joe?,” Vonnegut asked.

“The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”

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