Thanksgiving meals are notorious for it! Black Fridays were dreamed up to do it! Our economy is measured by how aggressively we are doing it!
And we are, of course, talking about consuming. We are labeled and frequently referred to as "consumers." And I admit to excelling in my role as "consumer." Not that there's anything wrong with it! But when is enough, enough? When do we have enough and why does it matter?
In January, when I set out to have "My Best Decade Yet," I found myself making a list of items I would be "needing." New bike, trainer for my bike, iPad … and so the list went. And one by one, I checked those items off my list as they were acquired and put to good use. Each item has indeed helped get my decade off to a fantastic start. But my list has grown no shorter. Amazingly, new items continue to find their way onto my "must have" list.
Thanksgiving is meant to be a time to take stock and remember all that we appreciate. As our family took stock this year, we were reminded of Dayenu. The Hebrew word Dayenu (di-a-new) means approximately, "It would have been enough for us," and it refers to being grateful to God for all of the gifts He gave the Jewish people, such as taking them out of slavery in Egypt approximately 1400 B.C.
Dayenu is also a fun, upbeat song that is part of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Over 1,000 years old, the song has 15 stanzas representing 15 gifts God bestowed upon the Jewish people around the time of their Exodus from Egypt. After each stanza describing the gift, follows the refrain, Dayenu … it would have been enough … but we were given even more.
As our family reflected on Dayenu during Thanksgiving, we found ourselves asking, When is there enough?
When do we have enough … Food in the pantry? Jeans in our closet? Books in our library? DVDs in our collection? Cool electronic devices? Square feet in our home? Vehicles in our garage? And, of course, we realized that there has always been more than enough, as we pledged to become more grateful in the coming year.
We cannot consume our way into "Our Best Decade Yet," although it might be fun to try. We cannot consume our way out of problems. We have been presented with some very shocking lessons in the past few years about the downside of over-consuming. Here are some highlights:
As businesses, we cannot band-aid problems with more people and more money.
As families, we cannot spend more than we earn.
As individuals, we need to recognize when "enough is enough." When we have enough, or when we've had enough.
Does that mean we stop growing and improving? Recognizing when there is enough, when we have enough, when we've had enough, could well be the basis for a kind of personal and professional growth that is transformative.
And now, for your coaching challenge, should you choose to accept it. Might now be a good time to invest some time and attention into enjoying what you already have? What you've already accomplished?