-an amount of something that is more than necessary, permitted, or desirable.
–the avoidance of excess or extremes, especially in one’s behavior or political opinions.
There’s a saying that goes “Too much of a good thing is still too much”. How can something inherently ‘good’ be ‘too much’?
- Food- Too much of it and we become unhealthy, gain weight and feel tired.
- Housing- Too big of a house brings with it more cleaning, maintenance, financial obligation and upkeep than is truly necessary.
- Income- The more money you bring in, the more you have to do to manage it, invest it, pay taxes on it, spend it, share it and protect it.
- Sleep- Oversleeping makes you more tired throughout the day and less alert and focused on what you need to accomplish.
- Work- Too much work often means we don’t have enough mental energy for our loved ones at the end of the day, for our personal dreams, or even to take a rest and recharge for the next day.
Anyway, you get the idea. We can have too much of anything in life, and it ends up making our lives more difficult and less fulfilling, even if it is something that we actually do need on some level. In general, it seems once we find something good, we tend to want more and more of it until it has become excessive. We don’t know when to stop. Where is that fine line or point when ‘enough’ crosses over to ‘excess’?
It can be difficult to identify when you are reaching the ‘enough’ point in any given area in life. Sometimes I can’t see that I have enough until I’m sliding towards excess. It’s also worth noting that the ‘enough’ point is also different for everyone depending on where they live, the size of their family, health needs, etc. However, with most things in life, you can start to recognize that fine point of ‘enough’ with practice and intentional living. Over the past few years of living more simply, it has become increasingly easier to see when we have ‘enough’ of just about anything.
Learning to Identify ‘Enough’
Learning to identify when you have ‘enough’ in your life in any given area can take some practice. Asking yourself the following questions and seriously considering your answers can give you valuable insight and help you decide when enough is enough for your life and circumstances.
-Does this object, experience or obligation align with my purpose and values in life?
– Does this object, experience or obligation require that I spend less time with those I love? If so, is it worth giving that up?
– Does this object, experience or obligation invoke feelings of happiness or feelings of stress when I consider the commitment it will require in my life?
– Does this object, experience or obligation require that I get into debt, thus having to trade more of my life to earn money to pay it off and care for it? If so, is it an absolutely necessary debt?
– Does this object, experience or obligation require regular maintenance and time? Do I have it to give without sacrificing more important things like time with those I love?
– Does this object, experience or obligation duplicate something that I already have in my life? Is it necessary to have more?
Using any or all of these questions on a regular basis will help you identify when you have reached the ‘enough’ spot in your life, and be more intentional about what you bring into your life. They can also help you remove those things that are not contributing to your overall happiness and life goals.
Remove the excess and start living life fully with just enough.