In today’s #AtoZChallenge, let’s stop for a minute to reflect on this. Is this more mentality alive within you? How does it drive you and what’s the impact?
So many people I work with struggle to know that they are enough, exactly as they are. And, I wonder if this idea of “more” plays into that somehow. There can be a belief that they need to know more, have more training or degrees or certificates in order to show up to things that they really want to do (and in most cases are already more than qualified for).
There can be a tendency to think we need more money, and so we keep working and working, without ever stopping to identify how much is enough. In this drive to accumulate, you may push yourself beyond what’s reasonable, for fear of not having enough.
There seems to be a belief that bigger is better, so businesses push to grow, to have more clients, more projects, and more income. Growth may exceed the actual capacity to keep up and at some point, may tip into being too much. What’s the ideal size of a business? Where’s the sweet spot where no more is needed? The perfect place that allows you the quality of life you desire and doesn’t burn you out along the way? How many clients do you actually want to work with? What will be enough to satisfy and sustain you?
More and enough seem to go together, don’t they? What might change if we stopped to check in with ourselves and asked, “What will be enough? Why do I need more? What will more do for me? What will more do to me? Is it true that I need more, or am I ok just where I am?”
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my father always pushed us to do more, to be more, to achieve and accomplish more. To not settle. But, what if it’s healthy to settle for enough? And what if it’s not even settling?
For me when I thought I had to keep reaching for something more, to keep raising the bar, I never felt satisfied. I almost feel like I can hear my father’s voice saying “don’t be satisfied.” I wonder what he was afraid of.
When the bar must be continually and repeatedly raised, we don’t stop to notice or appreciate what we have or what we have done because we’re just on that hamster wheel spinning to churn out more, to keep up with some unidentified and unachievable goal.
The Rat Race
- Barb Klein from 111 Invitations: Step into the Full Richness of Life
Burning the candle at both ends
only fries us in the end.
pull at us,
stretching us too thin.
Work, commitments, financial concerns
push us, drive us,
to go and do at all hours,
no request too big.
Sure, we can do more.
It is there
we lose ourselves.
We lose our ground.
We give more
than we possibly can.
We do more
than is reasonable.
Pushed by expectations
that are irrational.
Compelled by fear.
If we don’t, we’ll be dismissed.
Life’s busy-ness consumes us,
and beats us
until we are weary
and our soul
saves us the only way it knows –
through sickness, injury, or layoff.
Anything to stop the madness
and bring some rest
unless we can find the balance,
find a way to honor the self.
There is no glory in burning out,
one more lost soul
in a wasteland of beings
striving, always striving,
to outdo one another,
to get ahead and stay ahead.
I’m so grateful that this is (mostly) no longer how I live. And, yet, that programming still runs in the background of my consciousness, and I think it plays out in ways I’m not even aware of. There are areas in my life where I still tend to accumulate or over-commit. Things I love (like books) I can (and have) easily collect more than I will ever be able to read in a lifetime. I love to learn and seek to continue to grow, so I can take on more programs than I really have time for. I can over-give of myself and my time.
More ideas. More possibilities. This is another danger zone for me! I no longer have the sweet work colleague to rein me in and force me to choose one thing so that we could proceed. And, so, at times, I can get overwhelmed with more and more things I want to write about, create, or bring out to the world.
It takes intentional effort to step back, pause, breathe, and check in with myself before giving into the seduction doing or having more in these areas. I have to find ways to help me focus in on one thing at a time. It takes mindful thought to know what’s reasonable and realistic.
Not too long ago, I played with more in a couple of other posts – Less is More (we hear that all the time, and it’s something that holds a strong appeal to me). And, because nothing is all or nothing, I also wrote Sometimes More is More.
How about you? Where do you find yourself wanting or seeking more? Tell us the impact of more in your world? Or, is this not an issue for you?
Thanks for coming along with me while I play around with more and more questions! I’m having fun and I hope you are too!