Having 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