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When is Enough, Enough?

Once humans get started on any track of behavior, they become highly resistant to change. This tendency lies at the core of all addictions. Acquisitiveness is an addiction that affects most of the adult population in Western society. If a little is good, then a lot must be great. We want more. In our quiet, reflective moments, we know this compulsion rings hollow, but still we persist in the pursuit. When we feel momentarily uncomfortable in our choice of acquisitiveness, we call upon another human trait, rationalization. We say "we're saving for a rainy day," "this was a good buy," "the kids might use it," "we might need it," "everybody else has one," and so on. With a bit of effort, we can stop this addictive behavior.

The trick to escaping the acquisitive mode is knowing how much is enough. What do you need for your daily life? What do you need to follow your passions? How much must you have for your emergency plans? When you take the time to honestly answer these questions, you find that you require less than you thought. You may already have enough.

Many people are tempted to accumulate more so that their estates will grow larger. Thus, the laudable drive to provide for young, helpless children continues well beyond the time it's needed. Children become adults with their own capabilities. How much do they need as a gift? Will it make their lives better or will it weaken their purpose? Will you be remembered only as a source of money? At some point, you can honestly face these questions and decide when enough is enough.

Since childhood, you've heard that money does not bring happiness. You can resolve to revisit that idea and apply it to your future. You shift your focus from accumulating to living fully. You find there's much joy beyond the pursuit of more stuff.


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