How Much is Enough?

Walking into my kids’ bedroom and seeing the vast array of toys makes me realize that we are in need of a good spring-cleaning. Even though we are living in a New York City apartment, which for the majority is not much larger than many suburb walk-in closets, I still look at everything that we have and I wonder “How much is enough?”

Do we ever reach a point where we are satisfied with our lives or will we always be seeing how many things we can collect?

It starts when we are children. We’re not satisfied with just one Barbie, we have to have Ken, plus the house, the car, the friends and the clothes. We learn early how to convince others to buy them for us.

It continues with our own children. It’s not just Polly Pocket, it’s Polly plus all of her friends and accessories. It’s not just one cute Littlest Pet Shop character; it’s the case, the houses, the stuffed animals and the books. It’s not just a cell phone; it’s an i-phone, an i-pod, a digital camera and a private computer for the kids.

Acquiring things crosses over into our adult lives. We collect fancy job titles and as our salaries increase, our ability to spend the money increases as well. We buy more cars, bigger houses, expensive clothes and remodeled closets to put those clothes in. We stand in long lines to be the first to buy the latest technology gadgets.

Where does it stop? How much is enough?

I’ve learned a secret. It will never be enough as long as we are constantly looking at all of the things we don’t have.

You will never be satisfied as CEO if you are always looking for larger companies, higher salaries, more benefits, positions on the boards of several companies, a new spouse, private planes, several houses (the list could go on and on).

You cannot find happiness in things. Happiness comes from within. None of these things will make you happy and satisfied with your life unless you are first at peace with yourself. You have to learn to live in the moment and appreciate what you have right now.

Step back and take a look at all of your stuff. Do you really have time to use it? If there was a fire right now and you had to escape, what exactly would you be taking with you?

Spend time developing a good character. Work on your relationship with others. Make time for the things in your life that are really important. Make time for your family and friends. Make time for chocolate.