Philosophy

How Do You Define ‘Enough’?

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At some point in your life, you have to decide to stop chasing things.

People are constantly chasing more money, a promotion at work, a bigger house, a better car, more followers on Instagram etc. They never know when to stop. But for those of us on the path to FIRE, it is absolutely crucial that you know when to stop, and the only way to know this is to define your version of ‘Enough’. Even more crucial, once you reach your version of Enough, you must pull the trigger and retire. Don’t carry on chasing more, more, more. Any day spent in work after you have reached your Enough figure is a day that you cannot get back. It will be a day wasted, and all for the sake of having more.

But how do you know when you have reached the point of Enough, the point where you are ready to retire and never look back. 

Well, this all comes down to defining your own version of Enough.

If you do not define your own version of ‘Enough’, you will be forever cursed to chase more. But to be able to finally stop and decide its time to retire, you first need to know what your own finish line looks like. Maybe your finish line is one million, maybe its five million, or maybe it’s just a few hundred thousand. It could be any of these figures because there is no guide on what is ‘Enough’, ultimately that has to be decided by you and you alone. 

So, how do we define Enough?

 

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things”

 

First, you must understand your goals. Your goals need to be something that excites you and that you are passionate about, there is no sense living a life without passion. The journey to achieve your goal needs to be exciting and something that you are going to enjoy, or else you simply won’t stick to your goal, you will find some excuse to veer off and lose sight of what you were aiming for. Your goal also needs to be something that you honestly believe within yourself is achievable. For me, my main goal is to be Financially Independent, meaning I have enough money saved up, or enough passive income, that I no longer need to work. 

You also need to commit to making daily choices that help you achieve your goal. They may be small and seem insignificant at the time, but don’t forget the power of The Compound Effect, even the smallest savings can have a HUGE impact on your savings over a long period of time.

Defining Enough is different for everyone. Friends, family and peers will all have their own idea of what they consider enough, but that doesn’t have to be what you consider Enough. Learn to live life on your own terms, not how friends, family and society tells you to. 

 

“Never give up what you want most, for what you want today”

 

As you make your way towards your end goal, there will be many forks in the road, times where you could decide to walk away and lose faith in what you have been working towards. In these times, try not to lose sight of what is truly important. You set your goal in the first place because deep down you knew that it is what you truly desired for your life, so stay strong and keep putting one foot in front on the other. There will be no greater pay off than when you can finally say you have reached Enough.

To reach Enough, you must learn the art of Delayed Gratification, without this you will not be able to achieve the goals you have set. 

*Delayed Gratification is the process of resisting the temptation of an immediate reward, in preference for a greater reward later down the line.

An example of Delayed Gratification is the well known ‘Marshmallow Test’ …

The Marshmallow Test

A researcher and a child are sat together in a room. The researcher hands a child one single marshmallow and tells the child the following.

‘This is your Marshmallow, you can do with it what you like. If you would like to eat it right now, then feel free to and enjoy it. However, I have to leave the room just for a little while and when I come back, if you still have the marshmallow with you, then I’m going to give you another marshmallow, so you will have two!’

The principle behind this experiment is to find out whether the child can understand the benefits of Delayed Gratification. It has been proven that if a child can understand and implement the process of Delayed Gratification, their chances of success in later life are greatly increased. This is because deep down they understand the principle of saving something today, as it will lead to having more in the future.

This same test is taking place in every single person’s life on a daily basis, and the majority of people in our society choose to eat their marshmallow right away, rather than save it and get another one later down the line. We live in a society that promotes phrases such as ‘You only live once’, which actively encourages people to spend everything they have today and not think about their future, ultimately setting everyone up for a life of unhappiness. If you can master the art of Delayed Gratification and implement it effectively with the goal you are working towards, you will set yourself up for a life of wealth and happiness.

 

“The ability to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term is the indispensable prerequisite for success”

 

Finally, for those that have set their goals and are now on the path to Financial Independence, I hope it brings you everything you hoped for and more. I too hope that one day I will have enough money saved so that I can pursue my passions and live every day to its fullest, however I choose.

For those still unsure what their goal may be, a great place to start is to ask yourself one question…

‘How do I define Enough?’

 

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