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When is enough actually enough?

Don Draper of Mad Men wasn’t mad. He had it right: “What is happiness? The moment before you need more happiness.”

A BettrLife

At its most basic level financial planning is about calculating how much money you will need to live the BEST VERSION of your life, no matter what happens. Basically, how much is ENOUGH?

For many, the pursuit of enough can be all-consuming and for some even never-ending!

Without properly defined metrics (around how you’d like to live your life) it becomes difficult to define when ‘enough is actually enough’.

In our experience, this is something that many, many people struggle with… especially around what happens when you do have enough.

Enough

Even when people identify in their mind what would satisfy them in the future, often the way our brains are wired means that the metaphorical goalposts of life keep themselves just out of reach.

Don Draper of Mad Men wasn’t mad. He had it right: “What is happiness? The moment before you need more happiness.”

We hear it all the time. “I don’t have enough _____.” Time. Money. Energy. You fill in the blank.

The problem is that life has a funny, and disturbing, way of just getting quicker and quicker. I don’t know about you, but my typical week is definitely faster now than it was in my 30s and 40s!!

The author Stephen Covey talks about ‘beginning with the end in mind’ – i.e. imagining the time at the end of your existence when you get to look back at your life. I don’t think the questions below will come back to haunt you:

  • Do I have enough?
  • Did I make enough?
  • How can I get more?

Instead…

What you will ache for on your last day will most likely be different from what is motivating you today. It’ll probably be more like:

  • Did I do enough?
  • Did I give enough?
  • Did I live enough?
  • Did I tell people that I love them enough?

Here’s the thing: we don’t get to RELIVE OUR TIME ON THIS PLANET.

Rationally we know this, but it is still too easy to be swept along by the day-to-day undercurrents of life. So often, the pursuit of “enough” comes at the cost of our presence. We get caught up in being busy, accumulating money and possessions and then fail to stop and realise at what stage do we swap all the accumulation of money for time?

And “just a little more” is a temptress few can resist.

Your regrets when you’re dying will not be about how hard you worked but how little you stopped—what you missed out on when you failed to slow down. The minutes, the moments we’re given every day evaporate quick.

The clock stands still for no one

The longer that I do this wonderful job – PROPER financial planning – the more I realise it’s not about the money. Of course, fundamentally it is about money, but the REAL WORTH of a financial planner goes much, much deeper than that… and done well with the right people can be truly life-changing.