Large bundles of money in a metal case

When is Enough, Enough?

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I think we’re all concerned with how to be as happy as possible. For many followers of this blog, happiness is found in spiritual contentment, not necessarily living an easy life here on earth, but living with the expectation of happiness in the life to come. Others, who aren’t necessarily convinced there is an afterlife, will be more focused on achieving happiness in this life via lifestyle choices and a steady income, for instance.

Even those who find happiness in the promise of heaven try to take steps to limit suffering on a day-to-day basis, whether it be by keeping fit, eating well, or nurturing friendships and relationships. Most readers of this blog live in societies where earning money is essential for being able to sustain oneself with even the basics, such as food and shelter, and regardless of our beliefs we all have to think about these things to some extent.

In a recent blog post, I explained with passion why I am often frustrated with society’s idea of success, and I questioned the capitalist drive to always be earning more, and to keep growing in money, success, and influence. This idea is so pervasive, but it seems to me that it often leads to lives that become increasingly stressful and less fulfilling.

One of my favourite YouTube channels is run by an American minimalist named Matt D’Avella. Matt is best known for making the documentary ‘Minimalism’, which some of you may have seen. He has a podcast these days where he interviews people who have creative approaches concerning how to live a meaningful life.

In Matt’s latest video, released today, he interviewed a man named Paul Jarvis, who has written a book entitled ‘Company of One’, which I haven’t read but seems to be about questioning society’s norms when it comes to scaling up, earning more, and working harder. In the video, Paul is wonderfully honest as he describes why focusing on honouring existing relationships can be a much wiser idea than always seeking to scale up and grow.

I found the video incredibly helpful and reassuring, as I’ve been thinking about these things a lot recently in terms of my own ambitions and the way I organise my time, finances, and life in general. I’ve embedded the video below, and I would encourage you to watch it, as whatever your beliefs I think you’ll find the content really interesting.

What did you think of the video? The comments are open (below), and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the conversation between Matt and Paul. Feel free to share any insights of your own in relation to the pursuit of happiness and the question of when enough is enough.

Finally, this would be a good opportunity to mention that I have written an eBook about the pursuit of happiness which all new subscribers to my email list have the option of receiving as a free PDF download. Just click here and enter your email address, and you’ll get a link to download the eBook. Thank you for reading!

11 comments

  1. In keeping with Stoic thought, happiness and a golden future should only be pursued so far. Pay too much mind to the future, and you’re robbed of the present. I do my best to be thrifty and save for the future, but I’m not driving myself nuts trying to beat the stock market or constantly find the next best deal. My present happiness isn’t worth that.

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  2. Hi Steven. For me I’m happy when my relationship with God is right. That’s when I’m content but the minute I go my own way, I start to mess things up!
    I’m not particularly materialistic – I’m fine with having a homely house and being able to pay the bills.

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      1. All’s good, Steven. Thank you for asking. 🏑 πŸ”πŸ“πŸ£ β¬… those are the hens in the field out the back. ☺

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          1. They belong to a couple who live further up the hill, but their field runs right down to our house. It’s lovely to watch the hens strutting about in the buttercups.

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