Secret 1 - Prospering in a Chaotic WorldHav­ing enough mon­ey is a foun­da­tion of hap­pi­ness. Until we have enough mon­ey to meet our basic needs, we are focused on sur­viv­ing. Secret one to pros­per­ing is hav­ing enough. That implies, of course, you know what enough is for you.

What is enough for you? Do you have a mag­ic hap­pi­ness num­ber? Why does it real­ly mat­ter? This is the land of oppor­tu­ni­ty, so isn’t as much as pos­si­ble the right num­ber?

Enough­ness mat­ters for two pri­ma­ry rea­sons. One, unless you are already inde­pen­dent­ly wealthy, you are work­ing. When you work, you exchange your per­son­al ener­gy and time for mon­ey. While you may have more or less ener­gy than your friends, neigh­bor or fam­i­ly, you have the same amount of time. The ques­tion is, how much time are you will­ing to devote to the pur­suit of mon­ey?

I remem­ber a time in my life when I was work­ing from 8 in the morn­ing to 9 and night, 6 days a week. My hus­band had quit his job and I was fear­ful of hav­ing enough to sup­port my fam­i­ly. I decid­ed to pur­chase anoth­er book­keep­ing and tax prac­tice about the size of my cur­rent firm. I didn’t man­age the pur­chase well, and my life fell into chaos.

If I had calmed down and looked care­ful­ly at what was enough for me and my fam­i­ly, I like­ly would have made a dif­fer­ent deci­sion. My dis­re­gard for enough­ness and allow­ing myself to be dri­ven by fear cost me two years of my life with my daugh­ter. I have for­giv­en myself, but I will nev­er stop regret­ting the fam­i­ly time I lost.

Don’t make the mis­take I made, know what is enough for you. Time isn’t some­thing you can bank.

The sec­ond rea­son enough­ness is crit­i­cal is big­ger than our dai­ly per­spec­tive. The plan­et Earth is a place of abun­dance. Abun­dance per­pet­u­ates itself when there is respect for the nat­ur­al sys­tems that cre­at­ed it in the first place. The Native Peo­ples lived this truth through their prin­ci­ple of the next sev­en gen­er­a­tions. They believed that you take enough for your needs and leave the rest for the next sev­en gen­er­a­tions.

You can look at this idea and sug­gest it is sim­ply a dif­fer­ent val­ue, one that isn’t as preva­lent in mod­ern Amer­i­can cul­ture as it is Native Peo­ples cul­ture. I would argue it is more than that. Leav­ing enough for the next sev­en gen­er­a­tions is a fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple that allows the nat­ur­al world to regen­er­ate and sus­tain itself. It isn’t an option­al choice. The choice is, do you and I con­sume what is here now and change the plan­et to some­thing unknown and dif­fer­ent for the next gen­er­a­tions? Or do you and I slow our con­sump­tion to a regen­er­a­tive rate, insur­ing the same plan­et we live on now is here for the gen­er­a­tions to come?

This is a per­son­al choice. It isn’t some­thing an out­side par­ty, such as the gov­ern­ment is going to fix. You and I are the con­sumers. You and I are the ones mak­ing the choic­es. What choice will you and I make in the future?

As you are con­sid­er­ing your own enough­ness, here is an inter­est­ing study to think about. In a Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty study on mon­ey and hap­pi­ness, researchers found a tip­ping point, at about $75000. In their report, Kah­ne­man and Deaton, both pro­fes­sors at Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty, write “beyond $75,000 in the con­tem­po­rary Unit­ed States, how­ev­er, high­er income is nei­ther the road to expe­ri­ence hap­pi­ness nor the road to relief of unhap­pi­ness or stress, although high­er income con­tin­ues to improve indi­vid­u­als’ life eval­u­a­tions.”

Is your tip­ping point of enough­ness $75,000? What­ev­er it is, per­haps now is the time to dis­cov­er

To dis­cov­er all four secrets read Mack­ey’s blog series, Pros­per­ing in a Chaot­ic World.