What’s your number? How much success, money, weight-loss, recognition, etc. is enough? Is greed really good, or is it the source of all unhappiness and root of all evil? Watch this short video I shot in Costa Rica, aka The Happiest Place on Earth, and I’ll look forward to your comments.

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Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

20 thoughts on “How Much is Enough?”

  1. Hello Steve! I’m latino and i don’t live in Costa Rica… I would like to say that I came to America to succeed as an immigrant in the USA with family business… but how much is enough to loose when you get one of your employees burn with a 3 degree burn in the face…and body… in your business? Not everything is WIN Win Win… I would like to know beside law suits and so on.. Whats your oppinoin.
    Good work Steve…
    Good you don’t have the type of business we have.

    Thx from Chicago!!!

  2. I think enough is really feeling good about where I am. It’s not a dollar amount as I have used to chase money and never get enough. When you get to a certain point you always want more. I think success is finding joy in the journey.

    Care but not that much. You can’t be careless or else you wouldn’t do anything. You can’t obsessively care because then you’d go crazy. I think really enough is being content whatever the circumstances but still pursuing a goal.

    Rob =)

  3. I agree with much of what you’re saying, Mike. The main thing that I was trying to get at is the word DECIDE. Sure you can THINK this or that will make you feel happy or successful, but it’s just a thought. I’ll borrow from Morty Lefkoe to make my point more clearly. Take a moment to think to yourself something undeniably true like 2+2=4. Your mind responds with a certain umph when you think that. But now think of something that is not true or seems to be true only some of the time. Your mind responds to this thought very differently. This is what I mean when I talk about what people THINK is success. They only think. There’s no umph. It’s a non-starter. When a person’s image or idea of success takes root and hits bedrock, they will get that reaction of certainty and, because perception is reality, create a self-fulfilling prophecy not only in feeling successful once they achieve it but in feelings of success, happiness and so on while in the process. They have DECIDED what success is. Missing this step is the fundamental flaw that causes people to take off on so many empty pursuits. Just my theory, mind you.


  4. Steve, This is a great question. In general, I agree with more is better.

    The problem that I and I think a lot of others run into is the economic uncertainty that lies ahead. If it was just my wife and I AND I knew that my retirement funds were safe from taxation and inflation, enough would be easy to define. As it stands, I have three kids to educate, I am facing rising education costs, along with the uncertain safety of my savings. So right now, even though I would say I feel I have “enough” I still do not have enough to feel safe from these uncontrollable influences. —– So I keep pushing for more.

  5. How much success is enough? Enough for what, exactly? Enough to be happy or content, like in Costa Rica? The two have nothing to do with each other. It’s understood in San Jose. Less so, perhaps, in the U.S. Psychologist Robert Maurer summed it up in this way (though memory fails whether he was citing someone else), “The only reason that we have a goal is because we imagine we’re going to feel a certain way once we achieve it.” Is success an objective (or a goal), is it a process, or a state of mind, or is it something else entirely? The term “success” is nebulous at best and useless at worst. Nobody knows how much success is enough because they can’t DECIDE what it looks like. They will pursue what they THINK is success, or what someone else might SAY is success, and will never achieve “success” because their own heart was never in it. So they start over and repeat without addressing the fundamental flaw.

  6. How much is enough? A difficult question indeed. When money is scarce, it is obvious to say “more.” When money is plentiful and it’s source is seemingly secure, then it becomes a question of how much time you are willing to sacrifice for the pursuit of it. It is obvious that an amount of money beyond a certain point offers diminishing returns. That degree of diminishing return varies from person to person and situation to situation. For me, “enough” would be an amount of invested capital that would provide an income which would allow me to pursue my interests without having to work or answer to someone else. Then, any extra above that amount, if it demanded so much time as to distract me from my personal goals (assuming they aren’t to make more money), would be “too much” or at least more than enough. Happiness is not a destination but a journey. As we move through life, circumstances, goals and needs change but the philosophy remain the same – to be ethical in whatever we attempt to do.

  7. Hey Steve,

    Costa Rica is wonderful for sure.

    Now that I am to the other side of youth, “enough” has a time variable in it. Time has become my most important resource. When I trade my time for dollars – I do so with the thought of how much life energy I tm trading for it. My grown children, grand children, and a wonderful wife all compete for my time. “Enough” for me is about balance and so I live below my income, keep debt free, and place relationship before money – Yet, knowing that having “enough” money is a very important key to allow me to exercise those relationships. To love money for the sake of money is fool hardy, but using money to achieve your “enough” will actually become your abundance.

    Enjoy your questions,


  8. Learning to appreciate what you already have is the key. As Americans we are addicted to wanting more, feeling entitled, and experiencing a feeling of deprivation when our neighbors have more than we have. This is a prescription for unhappiness. After all is said and done, we can’t take our money with us in the end.
    Unfortunately for most people the realization that life is all too short comes way too late.
    At some point I believe we have to decide when enough is enough, slow down and enjoy what we have achieved. Happiness and contentment will return to us many times over.

  9. Hi Steve,

    I asked myself the same question, how much is enough, from time to time, and the answer comes to 3 related parts.

    1. Body – in good health
    2. Love – feeling loved and able to give love.
    3. Wealth – never worry about paying bills + maintain a certain living standard + able to give.

    When all the 3 parts are met is ENOUGH for me.

  10. Thank you Steve for your facts full of useful ingredients,
    Normally, there is no enough word in the world of sucess. For the World class candidate, the time you think you have collected enough, is the same time you feel something burning within you, pushing you to go further soaring. Only middle class candidates have the word enough in their Dictionnary.


  11. I love Costa Rica! I was there for 8 days recently and noticed a difference between San Jose, Costa Rica and San Jose, California. People in San Jose, Costa Rica speak English.

  12. Steve, when you speak, people listen, some even hear. How precious is that. A dollar note is just a piece of paper, and a Bank, what is that? A building? an institution? or a notion. It is my belief that when you can value what is real, you can find contentment. So keep speaking Steve.
    Dee X.

  13. How much is enough? The universe is abundant and unlimited. When the pursuit of success, money, recognition has a person living in the past or future instead of the present, then it becomes a problem–manifesting anxiety, fear etc. leading to greed etc.

    Note: The “Experience Well Being Score”” for Costa Rica is 7.5 –the U.S. 7.4 http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lif_hap_pla_ind_lif_sat-happy-planet-index-life-satisfaction So, how much happier is the population of Costa Rica?

    I like the idea of “more than enough” –tapping into the abundance of the universe and having more than enough to take care of myself, help my family members who are struggling and be a resource to others in the world.

  14. I’ve been reading these blogs for probably a couple of years and never made a comment. I just enjoyed and learned from those who do. This one hit me at an interesting time (procrastinating with a nice glass of cabernet) so here are my thoughts to share.

    Steve, let me answer this rhetorical question with a question or two. How much service that you provide to others is enough? How much of satisfying another person’s needs is enough? Changing perspective from getting to giving, the answer for most who truly understand what success really is becomes obvious—when you’re done! It’s the journey, not the end goal!

    Of course financial independence is nice—really nice, but there again it becomes the journey and not the end goal. As you gain more and more financial and personal freedom, you are exposed and become more aware of additional possible experiences “out there”. The person who has the courage, might I say the mental toughness, to live consciously will want more experiences since that means more growth. A person who is committed to success never stops growing.

  15. Enough is…simply asking yourself the question, then shutting up…and waiting for a response, EACH time you ask the question. Be sure to laugh as your bullseye changes on you.


    Mr. 10 Million Smiles 2 Serve

  16. What’s your number? My number is a dollar worth a dollar.

    My 1985 dollar is now worth 15 cents. Inflation, taxes, stock market, government borrowing and printing of money without collateral, politicians giving my money away to obtain votes, ponzi losses, etc. all contributed to the loss of value of my investments and savings.

    How much success? I will have succeeded when my family of humans on earth have developed morals to cause the earth’s society to be a better place for all of us.

    How much money is enough? When the measurement of money is based on the good service that I perform. Enough money to meet my needs to be self actualized.

    How much weight loss? Gain or loose enough to be healthy to keep myself strong so that I can be a credit to our family of humans.

    Recognition is developed within, not from outside sources.

    Is greed really good, or is it the source of all unhappiness and root of all evil? Greed is used as an instrument to cause lazy greedy people to find a unsustainable reward.

  17. Ungrateful people are never satisfied, no matter much or how little they have. Contentment is an attitude. Bob is right about using what we have to impact others with our gifts. They benefit, and we get a joy and satisfaction from sharing.

  18. Great question Steve. And a great place to be to ask the question. For me enough has to do with appreciation of my God given talents and abilities. Recognizing my strengths and gifts. Then being able to give them away to impact someone’s life. Sharing the intangibles. They are priceless.

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