Self-Care Challenge (Day 60): Defining “Enough”

A white piggy bank

On day 60 of my 366-day Living Upp self-care challenge, I explored my definition of enough. Seriously, have you ever really asked yourself that question? How much is enough? What exactly does it look like for you?

Most of us spend our precious years overfunctioning in a career. We do it to pay our bills, to buy toys, to do fun things, and to keep our families healthy.

But how many of us can recognize when we’ve earned, achieved, or accumulated enough? My guess is that most of us blindly pursue promotions, raises and recognition without ever knowing where the end point is. Where is the finish line? How tall is the ladder? And when does it all become enough?

“He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” – Lao Tzu

I’m not suggesting that we stop pursuing our personal and professional goals. Enough is not synonymous with apathy by any means. I’m simply suggesting that we invest time to explore our own definition of sufficiency, so that we can design our lives to experience more joy

One of the best examples of defining enough relates to our financial health. It’s easy to see the value of budgeting, and most of us understand the need to balance our earning with our spending. That’s simple math.

Much like budgeting, the exercise of determining what is sufficienty prompts us to ask ourselves insightful questions like these:

  • How much do I need each month to pay bills?
  • How much will I need to send my children through college?
  • How much will I need for retirement?

Having clear targets when it comes to our finances can have a huge payoff.

As a self-care exercise, I spent some time exploring what sufficiency looks like for me personally. I asked myself some hard questions about what I really, really, really need to be happy.

And I also got real about my possessions, asking myself these questions:

  • What I would take with me if I had to leave my home in 24 hours?
  • If I lived in a home that was less than 500 square feet, what would I want in it?

Defining our enough is about understanding the connection between our needs and wants. Call it contentment; call it sufficiency. However you choose to label it, wouldn’t it be great to know when you’ve acquired it so you can celebrate it rather than pursuing the false peaks that come with perfectionism?

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