There was a popular bumper sticker I used to see that read, “I Owe, I Owe, So Off to Work I Go.” Amusing pun or self-fulfilling prophecy?
I thought of that dreadful affirmation when I was shopping for new blank checks and saw that you could buy checks printed with this tribute to poverty: “Money talks. Mine says good-bye.”
Since money is a source of so much upheaval, each of us needs to thoughtfully examine our own attitudes and beliefs in order to create the healthiest approach we can must. Going along with unchallenged ideas about money or old scripts from our parents won’t do the trick. For most of us, building a Wealth-as-State-of-Mind attitude is a lifelong challenge.
Coco Chanel, who said a lot of smart things, once observed, “There are people who have money and people who are rich.” It’s not hard to figure out which is which. The people whom I think of as rich are those who have a practical prosperity consciousness.
Consider, then, this story from Charles Handy, the British business guru.
“How much money do you earn?” I used to ask my friends in my competitive days. It seemed the best way of comparing progress in life. I was brought up short by one who replied, “Enough.”
”What do you mean—enough?” I asked.
“What I say—enough. I work out what I need and that’s what I make sure I earn. How much sugar do you buy in a year?” he turned and asked me. ‘I have no idea,’ I said. He replied, “But I bet that there’s always sugar in your house when you need it. Money is like sugar, no point in hoarding it, it usually goes bad, or you have to make unnecessary cakes to use it up.”
In most of life we can recognize “enough.” We know when we have had enough to eat, when the heating or air conditioning is enough, when we have had enough sleep or done enough preparation.
More than enough is then unnecessary, and can even be counterproductive. Those who do not know what enough is cannot move on. They do not explore new worlds, they do not learn, they grow only in one dimension. They are trapped in the rut of their own success, always wanting more of the same, always dissatisfied, never knowing the feeling of abundance.
Growth can mean better rather than bigger. Bigness, in both business and life, can lead to lack of focus, too much complexity. We have to know when big is big enough.
Give serious thought to what “Enough” means to you. And don’t miss this short video from the wise Seth Godin talking about money.