Enough seems like a radical idea in a world that is conditioned to more. The concept of sufficiency runs contrary to so many values the Western world has ingrained in us. Our autopilot strives for bigger, better, more....
Several studies have shown that once a certain ‘satiation point’ has been reached, more money has no long-term effect on our level of contentment. And yet, we relentlessly optimise our private and professional lives for more, perhaps too scared to contemplate what we would do with ourselves if we were so foolish to accept enough.
In Adam Smith's earlier work, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” which I think is just as important, he made the observation that the value of any government is judged in proportion to the extent that it makes its people happy. I think that is a good founding principle for any group of countries focused on promoting well-being. None of us have all of the answers, not even Scotland, the birthplace of Adam Smith. But in the world we live in today, with growing divides and inequalities, with disaffection and alienation, it is more important than ever that we ask and find the answers to those questions and promote a vision of society that has well-being, not just wealth, at its very heart.
If you find yourself thinking that life is too short for something, you should try to eliminate it if you can...
Cultivate a habit of impatience about the things you most want to do. Don't wait before climbing that mountain or writing that book or visiting your mother. You don't need to be constantly reminding yourself why you shouldn't wait. Just don't wait.
Just because we’re working to fill one account (our bank account), doesn’t mean we should diminish our life and health account in the process. We need both accounts in good standing to have a good life.
Here’s the thing: there are good blogs to read. Some old ones are gone, but new good ones are created all the time.
And there are good RSS readers which you can use instead of (or in addition) to Twitter and Facebook.
And — most importantly — nothing is stopping you from writing joyfully and creatively for the web! You can entertain, you can have fun, you can push the boundaries of the form, if you want to. Or you can just write about cats as you develop your voice. Whatever you want!
Interesting analysis of the problems at Manchester United (emphasis my own):
“It's interesting because we keep hearing they need to buy more players. You know they have spent a lot of money in headline terms and yet the whole thing is a horrible incoherent mess. It's just a brilliant reminder that there is more to every area of life than simply having and spending lots of money and football seems to be really struggling to process this. Why isn't that rich person happy... Why isn't money everything? Well because there are other things like care and intelligence and wanting to be doing this thing together. And what's missing there is not spending money, you know people have tried desperately and in a haphazard fashion to spend money. It's intellignce, care and love and being involved in that project. It's a brilliant lesson that we should all heed and watch endlessly on a loop.”
Carry your life lightly
Or turn the wheel too sharply
But if you keep the handbrake on, you’ll never know
The joy of moving free, countering gravity
No need for fear
Even at speed you can correct a swerve
Do less and achieve more. Take quality breaks. Take the occasional retreat. Spend time re-charging. Get enough sleep. Read for inspiration. Spend more time with those who encourage and less time with those who criticise. Look after yourself.