What is enough?

Priceless view

What is the value of this view? To me, it’s priceless.

A good way to become more aware of yourself and your thoughts is realizing when you suffer because you don’t have ‘enough’.  Let’s see if any of these thoughts resonate with you:

  • “I need to make more money”
  • “I want a nicer car”
  • “I want a better place to live”
  • “I deserve a better job”
  • “Why does it always seem that other people get all the breaks?”
  • “I wish my kids were more thoughtful and helpful”

Now I would like you to sit quietly for a moment and think about what bothers you … and now correlate how these irritants relate to what you are ‘wanting’.  For example, you might be bothered by the fact that your best friend has more money and a nicer place to live than you – meaning that you basically desire what your friend has.

Now think about how this yearning and desire is actually bringing you down. It makes you suffer.  It makes you feel inadequate.

‘Re-framing’ means to change your perspective. Changing how you think about something is entirely under your control (yes really, it is), even if the circumstances have not changed one bit.

In the above example, can you reframe your perspective to think “Actually, I live in a decent place, I like the location and I am content here. I could use more space but it’s actually OK.  I have enough money to live comfortably and get to do most of the things I want to do.  My friend is financially better off, but I’m doing just fine.”  I personally would love to live in a bigger, better home, but the photos I share on this post are views from my residence. When I look out my window, my desire to move to a different place melts away. I receive so much joy from waking up and looking out my window every morning.

Double rainbow

The magic of a double rainbow

Although I am not a Buddhist (I do not follow any particular religion), the core Buddhist philosophies do resonate with me – their main philosophy about suffering and that we bring suffering upon ourselves is an intriguing one to consider, and speaks to the subject of this post. Here is a simple explanation of Buddhism if you are interested – see the ‘4 Noble Truths’ in particular.

I really think that setting your intention to think differently can profoundly change your life, and make you happier.  It’s all about perspective and how you choose to think.  Even when things may be tough in your life, think about what lessons you are learning, how you can re-frame your thoughts, and all the good things you can be thankful for.  Please read my post about Gratitude.

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4 thoughts on “What is enough?

  1. My elementary school was a ‘free school’ that operated quite differently from regular schools. Students created their own learning plans and could go at their own pace. This meant that about 1/3 of kids had learning disabilities, 1/3 were gifted or exceptional and about 1/3 were just average kids. I was in the average camp. Because of the enormous differences between students, I was raised with the notion that everyone is unique and you cannot compare yourself to anyone else, because the comparison is really meaningless. Every student was evaluated relative to their own past performance – not to the performances of others. I was also never compared to my siblings. I went to a regular high school and quickly realized that people are obsessed with comparing themselves to others, and I am convinced that we learn this from an early age. It isn’t something we naturally do, it is something we are taught to do.
    When I see someone who has success or wealth, I feel happy for them, but I never compare myself to them. It doesn’t ever cross my mind. But I do see other people do this all the time, and it makes people absolutely miserable. I also don’t watch television, much of which is designed to make you feel inadequate so that you will buy things.
    I have also traveled in developing countries and seen real hardship. If you want to compare yourself to anyone, consider that you probably live better than the vast majority of people on this planet. Living in Canada is an absolute dream compared to almost every other country.

    But really, I think a lot of unhappiness is rooted in the compulsion to compare. Just stop comparing yourself to others. You are unique. Comparing yourself to others is a false and meaningless exercise that only results in misery or a false sense of superiority.

    • To Jennifer and Matthew – wonderful to hear from you. It’s a nice freedom we can give ourselves when we release our desires and allow ourselves to be who we are and enjoy what we have. Have a great day.

  2. This happened to me the other day. I was constantly worrying about what I needed. Then I started focusing on what I have. I realized what I have is pretty good and that what Im doing is what I want to be doing. Staying here in the now is the key to true happiness.

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