Enough - Means vs Meaning

Part 1 of a handful of series on thinking about Enough in our lives. 

What is enough? 

Enough income. 
Enough revenue.
Enough assets. 
Enough wealth.
Enough stuff

It’s a tricky question. And the answer isn’t quite as simple as plugging some variables into a spreadsheet and running some fancy calculations (although admittedly, that can actually shed light on the deeper answer). 

There are a myriad of reasons why it’s beneficial to know this ballpark Enough answer. Knowing how much to save towards a specific goal, identifying when you can stop doing something, freeing up resources for other things, etc. 

These are all super beneficial. 

And yet I think a deeper issue comes up when talking about Enough: our identity. 

Too often we subconsciously conflate money being a tool vs being a symbol. It is a terrific tool, yet a terrible tyrant (to paraphrase Francis Bacon - or PT Barnum, depending on your source). 

Money should be a means, but it has this sneaky habit of becoming a meaning. It begins to identify who we are. It morphs from a currency into a symbol. And that’s a dangerous thing.

If we let our wealth define us, we’ll never have Enough. 

I’m going to spend a few weeks unpacking this a bit more with practical ways we should be addressing it in our lives, so stay tuned. 

But I’ll plant this seed: do we measure our dollars by their effectiveness as a tool, or as a status symbol of our worth? 

Interesting Resources

Antoine d Saint-Exupéry
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

The World's Rapid Rise in Life Expectancy, in Just 13 Seconds
2 min read | Visual Capitalist
While there are some areas of life that can be questioned if they're better or worse than in history, one that is relatively unquestionably better is life expectancy of humans. Very cool chart that plots life expectancy of humans broken out by country over time. 
Panic and Sell, Now What? 
10 min read | Evidence Investor
So while the S&P 500 is almost exactly flat for the year after zooming back off of it's March lows (see chart below), no one knows for sure if we're out of the woods yet with market volatility. Larry Swedroe writes a great article on a reminder of investing for the long-term. (1) Bear markets are a feature of the stock market - not a bug; (2) Your investment strategy should be based on evidence, data, and logic - not emotions; (3) There are always things to worry about; and (4) Don't confuse strategy with outcome. Great content and great reminders. 
Just an FYI I'll be headed to your inboxes a day earlier next week, and taking a one-week break from the series on Enough before spending a few more weeks talking about the topic. 

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