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Not what we have, but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance. Epicurus

What exactly is “enough?” Enough health? Enough wealth? Enough time? Enough happiness?

Dictionary.com defines enough as “adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire.” So, enough is different for every person and is decided by each individual in relation to their want, need, or desire. In my opinion, this is a very important point because it means that we get to decide for ourselves what enough of anything is. It’s completely subjective.

In the past, I was never enough and never had enough. Because I was lacking in self value and love, my wants, needs, and desires were insatiable and could never be filled. I looked to others to satisfy my need for love, self esteem, and validation. Because I didn’t generate these qualities from within myself, people in my life could never supply enough to meet my needs nor could I ever do enough. I was a bottomless pit. My ex-husband did not love me enough. I wasn’t pretty enough. I wasn’t a good enough mother.

Now, I have a very different perspective. While I have much less of many things, materially and otherwise, than I have had in the past – even when more was not enough back then – it’s enough now because enough is in my mind. In many ways, because of my changed way of thinking, I have more now than I’ve ever had. By adjusting my expectations and purposefully looking for abundance instead of focusing on lack, less becomes more. More joy. More peace. More gratitude.

I still struggle with enough these days when it comes to accomplishing as much as I would like to on a daily basis. I never get all that I would like to get done in one day. I have many what I call “must-do’s” every day: meditation, exercise or yoga, caring for my animals, house, and yard, maintaining my website, writing, the list goes on and on … I’m sure you have your own list.

I’m fortunate that I don’t have to report to a formal job at another location everyday. This blog, writing for other websites, writing books, social media marketing, and all my must-do’s are my job. I also do quite a bit of reading to stay in-the-know about the brain, and I put enormous pressure on myself to check a certain amount off of of my list every day and by self imposed deadlines.

While this dogged determination has served me well in many ways in the past and no doubt, played a major part in my recovering fully from a serious brain injury, I’m working on having a more relaxed approach and being gentler with myself. While attempting to maintain focus and productivity without putting all of the pressure and anxiety on myself, I’m trying to let events unfold naturally every day, accepting whatever happened that day as what was supposed to happen that day.

It’s OK if everything I wanted to do didn’t get done. It always works out every time in the end.

Every day, I do and am enough.

image source:   https://www.flickr.com/photos/seyyed_mostafa_zamani/

24 Comments

  1. Stephen Gemmell Reply

    Hi Debbie, brilliantly simple and love it. I guess ‘more is less’ and ‘less is more’ where less material need or want (insatiable desires) leads to more spritual (self) contentment. And of course that contentment comes from within and is not driven by the constant need for external approval. Thanks and take care, Stephen

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Hello, Stephen. Thanks much for the kind words. It sounds trite, even to me, but less really is more and enough is more than enough when your head is in a good place. I am glad to be here! Contentment feels SO good. 🙂

  2. Judith M. Hampton Reply

    Hi there, darling daughter. What a wonderfully concise expression of who and what you are. I am so proud to be your Mom.

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Much appreciation for your sentiments and backatcha! It has been a long, interesting journey, for sure. Never boring! Thanks for coming along for the ride trough thick and thin.

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Angela, thank you for your offer of help. I will take you up on it, as I already have some, about the book and the blogging world. Your posts and page help me learn in so many ways! Thank your for your example!

  3. The achievement of “enough” in the sense of survival needs was originally the point at which all civilization and culture began. Though that line is less concrete in current times, it’s still the point at which each individual begins the path toward full spiritual and psychological maturity. All adults have to learn when enough IS enough.

    Very few people are able to maintain “enough” all by themselves. Most humans grow and thrive better with partnerships, alliances and same-goal groups. Even hermits tend to form communities.

    The part of your article I like best is the sense you’ve evoked that “enough” is a non-material goal, more than a material one, especially for the kind of people who will read this. It’s pretty easy to tell if you have enough to eat, safe shelter and adequate clothes for your climate. It takes time and practice to accept your own adequacy, and still work toward improvements where you can and where decide you ought to.

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Good point. According to Maslow’s Need Hierarchy, only when the basic survival needs that you mention – food, shelter – are met can a person even begin to worry about the higher level needs of this post. I believe that this discontent is a blessing and curse of our privileged society. Our civilization has evolved so that most of us have our basic needs covered. This leaves many people searching to meet the next level of needs.

      I pretty much maintain my “enough” without many others or outside activities in my life. So, I believe it is only going to get better from here on. The better it gets, the better it gets!

  4. Great piece of writing! Thanks for being so generous, we all learn from you : )

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Thank you for your kind words! It makes the journey more meaningful to be able to share it with others.

  5. Debbie,

    I resonate with so much in this post! I feel like I’m still on the inner journey to “enough.” Glad you are shifting your focus to allow for more relaxation and satisfaction with what you accomplish each day. You are doing an amazing amount! It seems enough! Or more than enough!

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Sandra, thank you for your example! Your taking a digital break and lessening your presence online, but still being effective has been a great inspiration to me. Your example has shown me a new perspective and made me think of my own approach here. It is about working smarter and choosing to wisely invest the time where it will reap me the most peace, happiness, and benefit. It is a learning process every day.

  6. I do the same thing as you with my writing… self imposed deadlines. My husband reminds me that I have made my world busy. So this fall I decided to not be so busy. I feel more relaxed!! But guess what… I’m doing just about as much work as I was before!! So, I guess perception plays a big role in stress and business.

    Glad to have found your website today!

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Betsy, thank you for stopping by and commenting. Good for you for trying to take it easier. I have found the same thing to be true for me with the more relaxed approach. I get about the same amount done. Not on the regimented schedule that I self impose, but it all works out in the end, ….and I have more fun along the way. Imagine that! Which tells me that it IS all in my perception and approach.

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Pam, good to hear from you. Thank you for the link to the website. Good stuff. Thank you for your seemingly small contribution that had a big, lasting impact on my recovery. I still do TLP several times a week. I think it just helps me stay “tuned up.”

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Oh, yea…balancing act every day, for me. I like the quote and that is how I have started viewing my down time…an integral part of the whole as essential to my well being as, for example, exercising.

  7. Sol | Some Insight Required Reply

    That’s a word I have to taste. Enough. Enough. Enough.

    How do we generate these things from within? They can’t take hold suddenly. So do they take hold through growth? Experiences?

    I have something to think about.

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      In my experience, the feeling of ‘enough” has been hard earned through learning and growing from life experiences. No, it has not happened suddenly and is an ongoing, never ending process. It has come with learning to value and extend compassion to myself more and more.

  8. Thomas Eklund Reply

    This reminds me something that another philosopher, Epictetus, said, which goes approximately like this: “It is not necessarily the events, that bother us, but our impressions of them.” You can determine largely, what it is that you really want and need and how to get it. You can also largely determine how you interpret your experiences. In combinations, that influences how satisfied you feel, doesn’t it?

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Thomas, thanks for stopping by and commenting, Love the Epectetus quote. This simple concept – that we can change reality, not by changing what happens but by changing how we think about what happens – is so powerful. It has transformed my world. Because of this, we are all creators of our own experiences.

      • Thomas Eklund Reply

        Yes, it is powerful indeed and has also influenced me a lot – for better, I believe. Of course, as a topic, the reality changing vs managing our impressions can get complicated. I tend to think that it’s better not to get too deep into it philosophically, because you can get kind of lost there. But being able to manage your interpretations can be good and can produce a much more enjoyable life experience. So, certain level of understanding of what’s involved is needed.

        I find it fascinating that this stuff really works. Small, simple example: You smile – just make yourself smile – and it has feedback in your brain. Further, how your react to what you experience depends largely on how you interpret all sorts of stimuli, which has a lot to do with habits, which can be changed, also with self training.

        All things considered, interesting and useful stuff, like a lot else in your website.

        So, let’s smile some more 🙂

        • Debbie Hampton Reply

          Thomas, I agree with you. One can certainly over think all of this stuff and make it too complicated and just another thing on the “to do” list. There has to be a relaxed balance to it all. I find that I did not achieve this relaxed approach until after the period of working to change my perspective intentionally. After the initial learning period, it has to allowed to flow rather than be forced. There is so much that we can do, like the simple act of smiling as you point out, to effect and create our experience and change our brains. I find it so empowering. I want to let others know!

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