This essay is one of three (including the introduction) I wrote for the Enough book (Enough: Unlock a life of abundance starting right where you are). For more information about the book and my fellow authors (and to buy your copy), go to enoughthebook.co

On the threshold: an introduction to Enough

Nov 16, 2021 | Essays

We no longer ask how much is enough. Instead, we seek answers to fundamental questions about our lives and work to be enough and have enough.
The global collective pause of 2020/21 precipitated fundamental questions in the minds of many of us about our future lives and work.

Whilst money remains a strong motivator, care of and connection with self, family, friends, and the wider community is becoming a more critical part of our agendas. We are no longer asking how much is enough. Instead, we are asking what is enough. Research supports this.

  • A WHO/ILO report suggests that long hours are killing hundreds of thousands (1). The statistics show that, in 2018, a working week over 55 hours increased the chance of death by stroke or heart disease significantly. Pressure for change is already intense, and governments, employers, and workers are considering limiting working hours through legislation, flexible working, and job sharing. Many will be inclined to accept that a potentially lower income is a price worth paying for a better lifestyle.
  • According to a recent NatWest/YouGov survey, five per cent (one in 20) of all under-35s in the UK started their own business in 2020 (2). However, this figure rose to 15 per cent (one in seven) for those starting or considering their own business in 2021. The indications are that workers are switching off from organisations that rule their lives. They no longer wish to be shoehorned into a workspace that is not theirs. Their strategy for a better life seems to be to regain control by becoming their own boss.
  • The UK’s Office of National Statistics in 2020 found that nearly 30% of 16 to 69-year-olds are planning on making significant changes to their lives, especially in their work, relationships and home arenas (3). These people seem to recognise the scarcity in their lives, whether of money, company, control or fun. However, although they may have intentions, they may not know how to make a move.

It seems many of us are contemplating a complete head re-set as aspirations and priorities are redrawn. We want to know if there is a different and better way of doing things. We are asking if we can adapt, innovate and change without losing our skills and experience, and if so, how. But, above all, we are asking about what is enough in terms of time, money, happiness, success, friendships etc.

Thinking about enough

This book is an anthology of stories written by The Right Company (tRC) members that seek to address these questions and concerns. The Right Company is an online global gathering of professionals and entrepreneurs founded in 2018 by Bernadette Jiwa in Australia and Mark Dyck in Canada. It is a forum for providing support, sharing achievements and exchanging ideas around our businesses. However, members of tRC are driven as much by their values, vision, goals, ambitions, and community responsibilities as they are by money. Therefore, it is not surprising that our online chats and calls often gravitate to what is enough and how we can manage our businesses to deliver enough of all that we need.

This book emerged from one of those discussions, galvanising us to use our stories to encourage, inspire, and widen horizons. We are not celebrities or members of the glitterati. We are ordinary people who have experienced the ups and downs of life and work. We have made mistakes, learnt lessons, and oscillated between abundance and scarcity. This book is an anthology of the stories, lessons, and achievements we hope will provide you with comfort and motivation as well as the incentive to rethink your definition of enough.

Of course, we don’t know who you are. However, you will probably be in business or a profession, although you may work in the charitable sector or government / NGOs. Crucially, you will be dissatisfied, even fed up, with your work and life, and you are interested in finding out how you can earn enough money whilst following your heart. You will probably hate the thought of working all your life for someone else, only to be ‘retired’ at 60 or 65. You don’t want a work hangover but want to keep contributing until it becomes physically impossible.

Defining enough is crucial for you, as is how to achieve it and overcome the fear, failures, and other challenges that significant change often precipitates.

And whilst the after-effects of the Pandemic are a powerful catalyst for change, you are more likely to want to be defined by your path, achievements and individuality than the Pandemic.

Tap into our stories

The authors of this book have been in your shoes. We have heartfelt and often moving stories to tell of our achievements and failures, stories that can inspire, encourage and open up your mind to the abundance of possibilities available in the world.

Most tRC members have long shunned those who wanted to tell us what to do and found new furrows to plough. We have evolved from the corporate world into the entrepreneurial world (and sometimes back again). We will keep on doing so. We are free agents with no plans to ‘retire’ but to keep evolving and contributing.

We are a geographically, culturally and linguistically diverse group of people sharing a common interest in doing right by ourselves, our families and communities without being shackled by the rules and structures of larger organisations. We have many different views on what ‘enough’ means for us, why we do what we do and how we got there.

We describe what we have done successfully to occupy the liminal space between our personal and professional lives. This space lacks the precise definition and boundaries found in more structured occupations.

We describe what ‘enough’ looks like for us in financial and life terms and tell how we defined our goals and values and got to where we are now. Many of us write about how we see our journey as more important than the destination with no ultimate end in mind and how we have gotten away from living someone else’s definition of success.

We write about how we have used our time, our most precious commodity, to best effect and how we have re-structured our days and hours to make more time for things other than earning money. Achieving temporal freedom is a goal more important than money, to which many will aspire.

We can offer techniques and practices for achieving that freedom, and so you will find articles here about both why we have chosen our paths and how we have done it.

Many of the chapters and stories in this book are intense and often profoundly moving. Therefore, we have included shorter pieces between the chapters that we hope offer a more lighthearted view of our lives and work. You will find quirky stories, favourite quotes, book reviews, memes and other ephemera that illustrate our lives that were and our lives that we live today.

The promise and challenge of this book

The book promises that you, who aspire to live a fulfilled and wholehearted life with enough money, discretionary time and integrity, will get thought-provoking advice, guidance and inspiration derived from the diverse experiences and lessons of tRC.

For us as writers, our challenge is to give you our best cut-through thinking on how to achieve enough in life and work by using our stories of why and how we got to where we are, our stories of failures and success, our stories of life and work, our stories of heartbreak and joy.

We hope our contributions to this book will be thought-provoking, mind-expanding, inspirational and motivational. But, above all, we hope you will enjoy them and take heart from them.

 

References

  1. Pega, F et al. (2021). Global, regional, and national burdens of ischemic heart disease and stroke attributable to exposure to long working hours for 194 countries, 2000–2016: A systematic analysis from the WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-related Burden of Disease and Injury. Environment International, vol 154, accessed from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412021002208 on 19 July 2021
  2. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/05/16/britains-yolo-generation-three-times-many-millennials-planning/
  3. Office for National Statistics (2020). Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain. Accessed from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/26june2020 on 19 July 2021. This regular survey contained an additional section (§6) asking respondents about their long term intentions.

What do you think?

Your views are important, and your fellow readers would love to hear your opinion,
so share your thoughts in the comments box below, and thank you for your time and generosity.

What do you think?

Your views are important, and your fellow readers would love to hear your opinion, so share your thoughts in the comments box below, and thank you for your time and generosity.

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