Nov
21

How Much is Enough?

By

World-class performers are famous for their drive to get more, achieve more, and be more. But when is enough, enough? Is being in a constant mental state of ‘more’ having a negative impact on our peace of mind and happiness? Are we missing out on the true joy of life while we are in the process of chasing the next pay raise, level of success, or perfect relationship? This is one of the important critical thinking questions I’ve asked hundreds of the most successful people on the planet for over 25 years, and their answer may surprise you. Their answer isn’t as black and white or linear as you might expect, but it is brilliant. No wonder they’re able to happily move from one success to the next, while seemingly being able to soak up and celebrate the sheer joy of being alive. Watch this short video I filmed today in Sydney, Australia, on Sydney Harbor overlooking the Opera House. I think this is an important topic of discussion because many super successful people are unhappy and don’t know why, while some who are still striving have found the secret to happiness (or at least their secret) and seem to have it made. Is it possible to be super successful and super happy? I think so, and that’s what this post is all about. As always, I’ll look forward to your comments and another robust discussion. Steve Siebold ( 2:21 )

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Comments

  1. Steve says:

    Thanks, TC!

  2. Steve says:

    Jose,
    I’m glad we have you thinking on at least one post! 🙂
    Thanks for your comments.

  3. TC North says:

    Steve,

    Great question and wonderful perspective. It seems that many high-achievers just keep moving the bar higher, thus enough is never enough. As your success becomes greater, this is a critical question to resolve.

    Congratulations on your most recent book and the 50 city tour!

    TC

  4. Toni Alexander says:

    Aloha Everyone,

    I feel humbled and bit out of my league to speak on this blog, but your question Steve raised something in me. When is enough enough? Can striving for something better rob your present gift of time and contentment? If the world class has laser focus to achieve what they want with the mental clarity of knowing what they ae shooting for, then when do the lasers turn off and we start to look around?

    For me, as a freshman at Mental Toughness University, I have to say that the goal of what we achieve is just the vehicle that takes us on our journey. The push, the drive for “more” is actually just a way to explore the person we can be, that we will be. To be Happily Discontent, sounds so sad at first, but then I think the universe does not allow stagnation without rot and most animals do not change without discomfort. If we are always growing and always seeking better in ourselves, then mustn’t there be a bit of discomfort? A discomfort that feels so good because you know where it is taking you?

    The trick I believe is that we must acknowledge the journey and not just the goal. Enjoy the ride, be filled with the peace of the moment even in discomfort so that we continue to walk through our personal forest of development and achievement. If those who strive and only strive, they will only experience pain of battle and not the glory and peace found inside a true warrior.

    I know that I am not that advanced in my thinking, and as I said before, I feel a bit out of my league, but I would like to ask everyone, what is the purpose of having more if it is not to become the person who could have it? If that place of development is so sweet (which I believe it is) then isn’t that enough? Enough to me does not mean “okay you can stop now”, it means “enjoy this moment, be thankful of what you have done and what you will do”. When is enough enough, when you can allow yourself to surrender to the moment and still keep walking.

    Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and for teaching me so much from your writings.

    Mahalo, Toni

  5. JT DeBolt says:

    Steve,
    I love this topic. I like to think of myself as “grateful but not content”. I agree wholeheartedly with Jaroslav; the more we want the more we help and give.

    I have huge, amazing, wild dreams for my life and the life I will provide for my family, and it is all rooted in service and being excellent to the world around me.

    I love my life, but I want to be the best at all I do, and to have the best life has to offer. The “best” is there for a reason: to achieve it. And to want more of the best without uncontrolled greed or selfishness is a key attribute to achievement.

    Thanks for another great post and thought-provoking questions!
    ~JT

  6. Edward Micahel Raymond says:

    Hi Steve, Awesome question!?
    To all those who left a post, I’m honoured to read such great insights and reflections. Thank you. What came to mind for my self was Maslow’s hiearchy of needs to self actualization. I agree in servanthood towards others as we can only receive as much as we give on many levels of life. The simplicity of cherishing the day for all it’s worth/challenges and making it worthwhile in everyway is paramount to true contentment. The univesre is constantly expanding, are you? 🙂
    Edward Michael Raymond

  7. Tom Stenzel says:

    I’ll use my Crossfit program as an example. I’m in pretty good shape (at an age of 52). Happily dissatisfied is a good way of explaining what inspires me to take the workouts just a little farther – to see what this amazing body can do. And I am thankful for this opportunity to do just that. I can take this example and use it in my business or my speaking. I.e., what will i do to take this or that enterprise to another level?
    Steve, didn’t you say that Bill G. took you to Florida once to listen to some speakers in order to get one or two new techniques? You’d think he would’ve had all he needed.
    Great question.
    Cheers.

  8. tim morell says:

    Hi Steve. Interesting question. Your take on it leaves me satisfied! But!!!… as Socrates explained: the greatest knowledge is to know that I know not.

    With that in mind, the way you’ve framed the issue places it in a finite world. There actually can be enough, or too much of such things. On the other hand, it’s ironic that as teacher, coach, cheerleader… you yourself constantly find new things to explore, say and do.

    A biologist’s definition of life includes the ability to move. In a theoretical sense, I think that keeping not just your body, but also your mind and spirit moving is the essence of everything there is for us. It’s not a question of enough or wanting more… it’s a question of whether we choose to keep moving or to stop.

    The irony is, though, at the end we will ultimately know that we know not.

    IMO

    always the best
    your friend

    tim

  9. I believe if you stop wanting more, you also stop helping more and stop giving more. Contentment is fine but there are way too many people who hide behind that word. They say they have enough because they either don’t want their friends and neighbors to think they’re ungrateful or they actually don’t believe there’s any more they can do, be or have. They’re sleepwalking their way through life.

    We are in a constant ‘state of becoming’ and desire for more is the motive power for that state. The desire for more is directly tied to the life force. Just as an amoeba needs to keep pulling more through its body to keep moving, the desire for more keeps all of us moving, reaching and growing.

    Jaroslav

  10. Rajan Abram says:

    Enough is enough to meet our needs , and it will be madness if don’t define our needs- like fire, the more we get the more we want !

  11. Thanks for this Steve. For me your statement “I don’t wish you more, I wish you enough.” Rings true.

    Two questions, would you consider the state as you describe it, “Happily dissatisfied. Happy, but still seeking.” The same as being content? Content with the moment, yet still seeking to ‘become what you are capable of becoming?’

    Second, what about finding a balance between being too focused in creating the desired future, which in my case has considerable focus on wanting and achieving more, while still being able to enjoy the present?

    Any insights?

    Thanks for this post!

    -Barry

  12. Leo says:

    How about feeling overwhelming fascination? To see it all as a great adventure?

  13. Nishu says:

    Steve,

    How much is enough? An introspective question that needs courage to ask and heart/mind to answer…..

    To me “Enough” and “More” are two stages of life where Enough comes first followed by More. Now the game starts here when we tend to ignore “Enough” that is sufficed to do away with our present needs/stress and call for “More” that brings unwanted stress with it. Here unwanted stress refers to loosing the stability of mind/not enjoying current state of happiness to earn that “More” with a feeling that it would bring luxury, a better living standard, which at times it does.
    But living life on “Enough” means has its own taste. Whilst I would say one should negotiate on “More” in case it disturbs your present “Enough” phase. But no harm to go for “More” if it doesn’t affect your “Enough” way of living life.

    I am open to hear different definitions of “Enough” Vs “More” and even marrying of these two for few.

    NK

  14. David Mann says:

    Enough is a matter of the heart.When you’ve sewn all the good you can give.When you’ve touched all the lives you can in a positive direction.When the good lord says well done good and faithfull servant.Enough is never enough because we are designed to serve one another.

  15. Mike Jacobi says:

    Steve,
    i probably comes down to an attitude of graditude. Once you are content and your regulat financial and emotional needs are filled, acknowledge what you hvae achieved. Then, if you still want more, the stress factor should be gone and it just becomes a fun game with a lot less effort. At that point the sky becomes the limit.
    Mike Jacobi

  16. José Erre says:

    Well Steve, I’ve been watching you for a while and I must say this is the one post that has got me thinking. Receive a hug from Spain. And I too wish you enough.

  17. Joe Colosimo says:

    “Enough” is not necessarily material. The true definition of wanting more is continous growth.

  18. Ward D. Lyon says:

    Steve,

    GREAT question! How much is enough? I think everyone’s answer is going to be different and parallels a question I ask people, “Define Financial Independence.” I get various answers depending on their dreams and goals.

    My answer to your question is, “Having enough would be that I base my family decisions not on the COST but whether it’s good for my family!” How many times as parents have our children ask us for something or to do something and the first thing that comes to mind is “How much is that going to cost?” That is a terrible feeling.

    Now, my wife’s answer to that would be completely different. She would answer how much is enough as being able to lay on the beach in Tahiti for 6 months and not have to worry about the bank accounts! 🙂

    I’ve been on both sides of the fence and making family decisions based on not “having enough” is not fun. Be interesting to see the replies, but for me to answer your question it’s, as I stated, the ability to make decisions for my family, not based on cost, but for the good of the family. The extra we should just give away.

    Thanks for all you do. Appreciate you.

    Ward “Still Swinging” Lyon

  19. bob says:

    Steve,

    great topic. I once heard the only reason one should desire wealth or desire more is so that you can serve others. Also, if you don’t have money or resources you can only help others with your physical presence , however if you have money and resources you can bless others across the globe at anytime or place without you physically having to be there.