Just Enough, But Not Too Much
One of the curiosities of the human condition is that we have a difficult time with moderation. Most of us know what moderation is, frequently extol its virtues, and are notoriously bad at placing the principal into practice when it comes to our own lives. The reason for this is because practicing moderation means that we must learn the distinction of just enough, but not too much. When it comes to our lives, learning to pursue just enough, but not too much can be an item of vital importance. The way that we go throughout life is immensely impacted by our ability (or inability) to practice money moderation, and career moderation.
At first blush, the idea of just enough money but not too much can seem preposterous. After all, how can a person possibly have too much money? The consideration that is important for us to understand is whether our wealth creates freedom from excessive worry, or whether it creates excessive worry of its own. One of the things that each of us seeks to do with our finances is to create a situation where we have just enough financial resources to pursue our life’s purpose without the need of worrying about financial resources. However, it is possible for our wealth to consume us. We can very easily spend so much time attending to our wealth, paranoid about threats to our financial power, or worried about attending to the legacy of our personal or family wealth. One of the great dangers implicit in great wealth is that it can consume our lives. There is nothing wrong with seeking a life of affluence that results from gainfully serving mankind, but this life of affluence needs to be a part of a larger life’s purpose, and cannot be allowed to become the purpose in and of itself.
Another way that many of use can run into a situation where we must pursue just enough, but not too much is in our careers. This is equally true for people who work in a corporate entity as for people who are entrepreneurs. It is easy for many people to pour themselves into their work. This is especially true for people who work in start-up, or entrepreneurial ventures since there are unlimited demands for our time and effort that stem from our work. This moderation can be increasingly difficult to maintain as we climb the career ladder. Typically, the demands of a career escalate as we climb the leadership ladder. Similarly, the demands of a new business increase as it realizes greater success. One of the things that we must learn to do is manage the demands of our career and balance those against the priorities of our personal life.
This can be difficult to attain when the tenant of our personal pride comes into play. People of exceptional ability (such as many who read this article) feel a drive toward higher and higher levels of achievement. The point of differentiation comes from ‘why’ that great achievement is sought after. When the ambition of our life is simply ‘more’ then it will be impossible for us to ever achieve our ambitions.
Alternatively, if our life is animated by a definite purpose, it makes the attainment of wealth and influence simply a step toward our larger goals. This helps to keep all of the things that we do in perspective. In the end, our lives will be best served if we consistently strive for just enough, but not too much in everything that we do, and if we understand that the only person who can determine the exact definition of “just enough” is ourselves. (Authoritarians like to use the shill of “some people have too much” as a way of gaining control over people’s lives)
The way that we can all thrive in our personal, professional, and financial lives is to find ideal personal balance in the pursuit of our life’s purpose.