What is enough?

I’m finding writing this one the hardest, it’s day 5 of writing 30 articles in 30 days and I imagine writing on a Saturday and Sunday might feel tough too.

It’s Friday afternoon and I always feel lethargic at this time, it’s hot, I’m inside and I’m ending another week working 80% virtually still not accepting that this might be it for me/us now.

I find it quite hard to end the week and to end the day.

There’s still a lot on my to-do list and there’s still a lot of work that is unfinished, decisions that aren’t made yet or events that haven’t taken place. There's a lot of uncertainty, it's not "done", it's not perfect, it's incomplete. I mean that about Sanctus, my book, whatever else I'm working on. 

That’s how I’ve felt for about 5 years building Sanctus. I’ve felt like nothing is ever really enough, no matter how much I do there is always more, there just is always more.

The parameters of building a startup are so wide, that it is very difficult to clearly define what is enough and end the day satisfied.

I’ve learned that it’s very important both for me to define what is enough for me, yet also for businesses to define what is enough for their teams. Or else we always end up in this depressing and exhausting cycle of feeling like we are never doing enough.

The reality of a startup environment is that you are often working in an environment with limited resources, with scarcity and where there might be a broad vision, dream or plan that will take a long time to come together. 

By it’s very nature, whatever you do in a day will rarely ever feel "enough"

What I know for myself though is that by reflecting on what I have achieved and looked at what I have done and having very clear goals for myself; allows me to feel more satisfied with where I am, rather than constantly chasing where I am not.

I’ve also developed an acceptance of the “never enough” mentality. There is a hunger and passion that comes with it that I think would be a shame to lose, yet I have to be aware of the dangers of that mentality too.

Alongside an awareness that it is common to feel like there isn’t enough in a startup environment, that’s OK and reminding myself of that I’m often less hard on myself.

Without the acceptance, awareness and clear definitions of what is enough, it’s easy to end the day at 8pm having spent the last 3 hours burning myself out working on something that just isn’t a priority.

I’ve done so much of this in the past, what I’d just call pointless work, where I’m working for the sake of it, because I simply can’t stop, because I can’t control myself and I can’t create my own definition of what is enough.

I find “enough” quite an evocative concept. What is enough? Am I good enough?

I find those good journaling prompts and it can bring up a lot about money, success and what you think about yourself.

I never used to believe I was good enough for a long time, now I’d say I do, that doesn’t mean I love myself it just means I think I’m good enough and enough isn’t as loaded for me as it was. Enough means enough, it doesn’t mean exceptional or outrageous, enough can just be enough.

The prompt of what is enough is a next level prompt too, is enough a house you own or a billion dollar business? Is enough a healthy and happy family or a Ferrari?

It’s a prompt I like to sit with often.

As I end my week, I’m telling myself that after I write this post. I’ll have done enough. I am enough.

Have a great weekend.

5/30.

Cheers,
James x

Note:

Also when you look at the word for long enough, what a funny word enough is. It's ee-nuff. It's more ee-nogg or ee-noog.