It’s never enough.
You achieve your goal, finish your final deliverable, finally get that job — you are content for a moment, but then you want more.
After days, weeks, months, or even years of hard work, you reach the pinnacle you set for yourself. You feel the excitement, the gratification of success.
A couple days later, you’re asking: what’s next?
Never being satisfied is one of the greatest qualities of humans. We’re always striving to improve. Yet, we are also bound in an unhappiness of never having enough.
More products. Because once I get the new iPhone, I can finally start that YouTube channel that will make me a success.
More money. Because once I have a safety net, I can finally go on that vacation.
More time. Because once I get an extra hour in my day, I’ll finally start working on that side project.
Today, I’m telling myself that this is enough.
My income? It’s enough. My writing success? It’s enough. My friendships? They’re enough. My belongings? They’re enough.
This is enough.
The Decision We Make
We have a choice. We have a choice to look at ourselves in the mirror and be satisfied with what we have or to want more. I’m not sure which I plan to choose — to be satisfied or anxiously crave more?
I’m in the first year of college, and I’m worried. Oh god, am I worried. And the people around me are, too.
There’s a feeling of anxiety each time I think about my career. I’ll be honest: when I was planning to go into AI policy or software engineering, this feeling just wasn’t there.
Now my dream career is becoming a writer and entrepreneur — someone that creates tools to help people flourish.
Often, the first thing people will tell you about successful entrepreneurs is that they simply got lucky. They had unfair advantages that let them excel. Their path isn’t replicable.
So, I feel anxious.
Paul Millerd describes this feeling in The Pathless Path. He felt it when he moved on from consulting and created his own career path. I feel it now.
How will I be able to pay for my expenses when I am making less than $500 a month now? That question ran through my mind recently.
I spiraled. I questioned. I grasped for certainty. There was none.
Then I remembered how much my life had changed in the past few months.
In terms of relationships, I made the closest friends that I’ve ever had in my life.
In terms of learning, I’ve learned more in this short time than any other period of time (funnily enough, very little of it came from my classes).
In terms of finances, I’ve made more than I could have ever imagined (which is still small, but I had pretty low expectations!).
In terms of life plan, I am rebuilding my goals off my desire for independence and creating value.
In terms of writing, I went from 200 followers to almost 1,300.
I’ve made a lot of progress in these past few months. Yet, when I think about the future, I think about it through a lens that there will be no change in the 3 years it takes me to get there.
The year is 2026. I’ll be graduating college and going off on my own. When I picture this event in my mind, it feels like I’ll be the same person with the same resources and success as I am, today.
This is idiotic. It’s the end of history illusion: the belief that we have grown significantly in the past yet will not grow anymore.
It feels real, but it’s an illusion. An illusion that you will somehow be the same person despite having multiple years to change who you are and the set of circumstances you currently have.
This is Enough
The this is enough mindset means that we don’t evaluate the viability of future circumstances in consideration that we will be the same person with the same resources and skills. It means that we evaluate our present circumstances in regard to our present selves.
This is enough appreciates the present moment. It doesn’t mean we don’t prepare for the future, but it does mean that we acknowledge that the future will look much different than we could ever imagine.
Today, I am choosing to believe that this is enough. I don’t know how the future will pan out, and I am choosing to find peace in that.