Why It’s Never Enough

Sometimes I wonder why it’s never enough. I live in a warm apartment, but I dream of a big home. I have a lovely partner, yet I still look at women on the street. But it’s not just me.

I know people who have great businesses, but they aren’t happy. I have clients with so much talent, but they don’t feel like they’re good enough. I have clients who’ve built amazing organizations, but they get lost in thinking about what’s not possible and worrying about who will screw them over.

Recently a client of mine found out they were getting $40,000 they weren’t expecting. Amazing right?

They should be joyous! But they felt guilty, then they felt entitled, then they wondered about what they should spend the money on, and then they worried about what would happen if they lost that money.

This amazing blessing was causing them pain.

So how do we deal with this … this never enough feeling?

First: Focus On Now First you learn to see why this right here, right now is enough. You pause at the news of an extra $40,000. You notice how good it feels to know that money will be there. You feel the relief it brings.

Or you imagine what it’s like to lose $40,00. You feel the fear and disappointment. You feel the discomfort of having made a mistake. The gratitude you didn’t lose more.

Second: Accept The Never Enough You might think you can do #1 and the rest will just go away. Well it doesn’t. The first truth of Buddhism is that there is suffering. The second is that it’s caused by desire.

This feeling of it not being enough won’t go away. It doesn’t matter what accolades you achieve or what path you walk forward in your life. The desire will be there and so will the feeling of never enough.

Sometimes it might be less, sometimes it might be more. But it will be there.

Stop trying to stop it and just accept it.

Third: Use It To Serve When it comes to the feeling of never enough you have two options. The first is to learn to end your desires. The Buddha wrote a great post on this called the Eight Fold Path, if you want read it and follow it.

But until you learn to follow and master it, what are you supposed to do with this not enough feeling? Well for that you have the second option, which is to learn to use your desires for good.

You say, “OK I’ll never feel like it’s enough, so if I’m going to have desires what can I use this desire for? Can I use it to serve others? To help other people suffer a little less?”

That’s it. It’s that simple. It doesn’t take a million days in a monastery to turn your desires into something useful. Simply accept that you can’t change this feeling today and get to work on making it a part of the amazing thing you’re building for the world.

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