The Wisdom of Enough


It’s a very American concept that more is always better. However, today I’d like to talk about the idea of enough. I am reminded of the idea of just this much, and no more that I first discovered the classic chinese text the Tao Te Ching. The Tao declares that a knife can only be sharpened to its precise sharpness. If you go beyond that place and continue to hone the knife, the knife itself begins to wear away. In this case, enough is absolutely perfect. No more, and no less. This concept of enough has helped me understand that more isn’t always better. I only need enough, and that has helped me relate to myself with greater compassion.

There is often a deep-seeded fear of scarcity behind that relentless pursuit of perfection. My younger self accepted as much praise, attention, notice, kind words, and recognition whenever and from wherever it was offered because I believed that there would never be enough to go around. If only became the hidden drive. If only I could do more and compete more and win more trophies and ribbons and straight A’s. If only I could do more, I would be more.

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