It’s been almost a decade since I surprised my wife by telling her I’d be happy with my current salary forever. I didn’t make much at the time. But that marked the day I began trying to fight back the impulse for “more” and instead try to discover how “enough” feels.
Several years back, I posted an anonymous question on ask.metafilter asking how to deal with feeling sated. I’m not sure exactly why I felt it had to be anonymous. I think I was asking for permission to no longer want to put a dent in the universe. I still felt guilty about it, and cared if people would think I was coming off as lazy, selfish, or apathetic.
I don’t care how it looks anymore.
The biggest surprise is I haven’t slowed down my creative output, I’ve just re-directed my energy. I may have given up on an international audience of adoring fans supporting me by buying everything I make, but in return the stress of creation disappears almost completely. I may have canceled a bunch of projects, but it means my mind is clearer when I work on the ones I want to continue. It’s tremendously freeing and has done wonders for my work. I’ve never been happier, more creative, or more satisfied.
From the time we’re little kids, up through school, into our fresh careers, and then projecting towards retirement, the plan is always “do your best on this step so you can be positioned as well as possible for the next one”. But what if the plan was “do everything you can to enjoy where you are now” instead?
I mean this in the nicest, most gentle possible way, but I just don’t care what you or anyone thinks anymore. I have a singular goal: the happiness of me and my family. And most reliable way I’ve found is to stop searching for “more” and learn to recognize “enough”.