When is Enough, Enough?

June 9, 2010 | blog,Career,dream life,Uncategorized | Tags: , | Written by: admin

Remember those flashy Rolexes and Ferraris everywhere you looked … back in the 80s? And during the dot com hay days?

Recently…not so much, right? Seems people are appropriately turning it down during this recession. Because, make no mistake about it – the money is still there. It hasn’t miraculously evaporated. The rich are still rich.

But I think greed and its outward manifestations (in your face!) are, for the most part, over. (So last century!)

In its place is this new notion of “wealth” and I’m seeing it more and more.

Greediness be gone – enter the “new rich.”

I believe that the new rich is all about having time.

Time has become a prime luxury. Not watches, not cars.

iPhones, email, Internet…it has enhanced our lives but it has not made it simpler. Don’t studies reveal that we’re busier now than we were ever before we were all glued to our gadgets and social networks?

When you have time, it means having the freedom to do what means most to you; do work you love or otherwise live a life you love. But also time to just relax and not work at all – at least some of the time.

Here’s a statistic that may surprise you – or not: They say about 80% of the population does not like their work.

I see my share of clients in big-paying jobs that are so godforsaken unhappy. They come to me to transition into doing something that has meaning to them, even if it means a big pay cut.

These days, I’m surprised when I have a client tell me that their main goal is to get the job with the fattest salary.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those crazies saying “money is evil.”

Of course; money not only buys you things – it can also buy you experiences. It takes money to sit around and do nothing. Or travel the world.

So just to be clear; I’m also not saying that making a lot of money is bad or wanting to make a lot of money is bad. I want to make a lot of money too!

What I’m saying, though, is that when making money becomes the primary focus, a goal in and of itself, I see disappointment. These people expected something magical to happen when they surpassed 6 figures…or even 7 figures. Or beyond, god forbid. But their problems are still there. Money problems are gone, but now it’s still up to them to create a life they’re excited about and many fall short here.

Often, they’re a slave to their business or job, which they may not like in the first place. Or they just don’t have the courage to venture out and do something completely different and “crazy.”

How high a price are you willing to pay for generating a high income, within that kind of context?

When I do see having lots of money working out wonderfully is when people have a purpose in mind; they know what they want to do with it and have realistic expectations. They actually do the things they dream of.

Here’s the flip side of the story: I see a lot of people putting their lives on hold because they don’t have enough money – or so they believe.

Specifically, they believe that they can’t go after what they’d really love to be doing because they think they’d go broke or need a ton of money in the first place.

Disclaimer: this is all assuming that the very basics are covered, such as rent/mortgage, food, clothes, etc.

There’s even this movement now of people simplifying their lives – also financially. Folks who prefer flexibility over assets. Who change careers every few years or who have multiple careers going on simultaneously. People who travel a lot. When there’s not a lot of extra money, there’s also not a lot to manage.

But more importantly: I think these people are on to something.

These days, I find myself more intrigued by folks who live their dreams – and started it all with nothing – and who, to this day, may not have huge bank accounts, than by those who’ve been doing the same thing for years  and have gotten wildly successful financially.

And I don’t think I’m alone.

Timothy Ferriss wrote about creating freedom in his highly successful book “The 4-Hour Workweek.”

Here is something about money that I find interesting:

Research shows that truly wealthy people are no happier than those that make enough to live on and have some funds for fun things such as a vacation each year. On the other hand; truly not having enough money and having to worry about finances will definitely make you unhappy.

But when is enough, enough?

the pursuit of “more money” is never over. You make more, you adjust your lifestyle. You want even more because now you’ve tasted the good life… the result is that you never feel satisfied or happy with what you have. All the while focusing on how to make more money.

What if enough is simply enough and you start taking steps towards doing what you really want to be doing? Maybe just on the side, for now. Baby steps. Or maybe it involves a bold move; studying abroad or working and living somewhere else for a while.

Ultimately, it’s in the ability to be happy with what you have – not to get more, but to be truly happy with your current “haves.”

Today’s teachings often tell you that in order to attract more into your life, you need to appreciate what you have now.

But what if that “more” isn’t going to give you what you thought it would? Beyond a certain income level, it typically doesn’t.

So why not stop focusing on how much more we want but truly be happy with what we have right now? And whatever follows, follows.

I hear people complain about money yet they never need to worry about their mortgage, they buy designer clothes, and they can go on vacation multiple times a year.

Then, I see the poorer than poor walking around in Africa, and I see more happiness coming from them than from many designer-clad westerner surrounded by all the latest luxuries.

It’s not in the stuff, folks. It’s in the attitude and the experiences you dare create for yourself.

I think the “simple living” folks are indeed the “new rich” and I think they are on to something. I think I’m joining them!

How about you?

Do you complain about money yet you’ve always been able to pay the rent or the mortgage – one way or another? Are you stuck in thinking that what you want can in no way be done without heaps of cash? Would love to hear your take on this!


  1. Just superb writing/thought.
    Got me thinking!!
    Keep writing such thought provoking article.kudos!

    Comment by Raju — June 9, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

  2. Ilona,
    Good for you! Riches aren’t what you buy or how much you make. Can you pay your bills? Can you take your family on a vacation? Do you have ‘me’ time. Then you are in good company. Some of the less stressed people I have met live a modest,yet rich life and have less stress than the person with the 6,000 sq.ft. home on several acres, with a Corvette and a Hummer (I just dated this comment since Hummers will be a thing of the past)in the drive, and a monstrous mortgage to accompany this. If something goes wrong, they could lose this! Hence, Stress! So I couldn’t agree with you more.
    Now, how do I get my family on the same page without them going into major shock!
    I’m not going to ramble on any more. I’ll give someone else a chance. Thanks Ilona.

    Comment by Joe Langdon — June 10, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

  3. Thanks Raju!!! : ) So now I’m curious…what are you thinking? ; )

    Comment by Ilona — June 10, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

  4. Hey Joe,

    Exactly – the pressure to keep up with all those payments can be enormous. Hence those Wall Street suicides back in the days (now I’m back dating my comment – haha)

    Yes – that’s another part of the issue: not just you, but your entire family gets used to a certain life style…

    Do let us know what happens when you tell them you’re all going to be downsizing big time, ok? ; )

    Comment by Ilona — June 10, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

  5. …I realize I didn’t include the link ! Here it is : http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2008/04/test-test.html

    Comment by Lionel Ancelet — June 19, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

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