COMMENTARY 781.1: Enough is Enough

What does it take to make you happy? How much do you have to have to be grateful?

To the barefoot man, happiness is a pair of old shoes. To the man with old shoes, it’s a pair of new shoes. To the man with new shoes, it’s more stylish shoes. And, of course, the fellow with no feet would be happy to be barefoot.

This leads to the ancient insight: If you want to be happy, count your blessings, not your burdens. Measure your life by what you have, not by what you don’t.

Yet in our modern world where we’re continually exposed to endless increments of more and better – others with more money, better TVs, and bigger houses – this is very difficult.

For some people, the pleasure of having something good is drained as soon as they see someone else with something better. Our sense of contentment is created or destroyed by comparisons.

A life consumed with unfulfilled wants is an affliction. The antidote is the concept of “enough.”

This starts by thinking more clearly about the difference between our needs and our wants, between sufficiency and abundance.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more and striving to fill our lives with things and experiences that give us pleasure, so long as we don’t believe we need whatever we want.

When we think we need what we really only want, we make our desires preconditions to happiness, thereby diminishing our ability to appreciate and enjoy what we do have.

It’s easy to think that happiness is achieved by getting what we want when it’s really a matter of wanting what we get.

In the end, enough is enough.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

Comments 4

  1. I think the key is appreciation. What you said is right on, but how do you get there?! If you read this and think that’s great but I’m not there, you feel awful. Appreciate where you’re at, it leads to more appreciation in life. Are there things to be displeased about? Yes. I’m in the habit of appreciating life and its blessings – some days this may simply be appreciating being alive – I find more and more to appreciate unfolds as I grow. We can focus on what doesn’t work in life as easily as what does. It’s all perspective. I find it more fulfilling to focus on what my perspective is in life (which I can tweak) than it is to focus on what’s not right about life (which for the most part I cannot control).

    My perspective is: Life is perfect and unfolding just as it should. I am whole, complete and perfect the way I am and you are whole, complete and perfect as well.

  2. I love the statement about needs and wants and keep this in mind anytime I get the impulse to acquire something new. I have explained the difference to my daughter, my employees, and many others. Knowing the difference can really make you happy with what you do have.

    I will have to respectfully disagree with the blanket statements about happiness and shoes. There are many of us who go through life barefoot as a choice and happiness is the feeling of the earth beneath your feet, the morning dew on the grass, the cool floor on a hot day; putting our feet into a pair of shoes conjures up unhappy thoughts. I do understand that many people are unable to go barefoot for an extended period of times, shoes would make them happy. But for me and my fellow barefooters being able to be and go barefoot is happiness.

    A quote from Charles Swindoll about attitudes keeps me in check and reminds me to be happy as oft as I can:
    “…The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is attitude…. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it…”

  3. Good word Colleen.
    Hosea 4:6 says that “My people will perish for the lack of knowledge.”
    Once we have understanding (which leads to knowledge) of how our spiritman operates and how it needs to be fed, and with what it needs to be fed with, then we will eat of fruit that is GREATER than happiness and therefore be better than happy. In matter of fact, your spiritman will be overflowing in abundant fruit.

    The Truth Shall Make You Free – John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him,

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