My idea to change the world was inspired by a story in the book Enough, by John Bogle. It reads:
“At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller responds, ‘Yes, but I have something he will never have… enough.’”
For one of my finals I have been assigned a paper in which I must determine what will be “enough” for me. As I write I am becoming aware that we are socialized into a system which trains us what to desire and how, but we rarely think that once we achieve certain ends, we will be happy or finished. I believe we need to adopt a new mindset in which we determine the limits of our desire and can therefore truly enjoy the fruits of our labor, once reaching those achievements. Without these limits, I believe we are forced to forever focus on the things we want, and by necessity the things we do not have, leaving the blessings in our lives out of our attention and appreciation.
An article my friend showed me reinforces my point. The article lists the top 5 regrets of the dying as recorded by a nurse working with patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. It’s an inspirational list, but there are two in particular which I think are relevant to enough. The first relevant regret is “I wish I didn’t work so hard.” It cites that many people in this nurse’s unit felt they had missed out on the important things because they were spending so much time at work, trying to earn and achieve. These people should have realized what was enough for them, and spent more time on the other, and often more important, things in life. The second relevant regret is “I wish that I had let myself be happier.” Again, this demonstrates that people realize retrospectively that they had the means to be happy, but instead focused on all of the things they wanted to improve in their lives. What I am arguing for with enough, isn’t always being content or complacent, but determining what truly makes you happy and once you have achieved it, giving it some focus and appreciation before moving onto the next challenge. Beyond this, once you have achieved enough, instead of working for even more, devote your time to helping those without a fair chance realize their ambitions.