Sam Radford

April 20, 2022

Chisoku: When enough is enough

The Japanese have a word for everything, don’t they?!

Chisoku
is the Japanese word for ‘enough’; it means to feel sufficient or to be satisfied with what we have.

Reading about this word over the last week has been a good reminder for me. As Seth Godin’s pointed out in his recent blog post

...by some measures, there’s never enough. We can always come up with a reason why more is better, or better is better, or new is better or different is better.

The problem for me is that I like more, better, new, and different!

It is not the path to satisfaction though.

And clearly this is something my attention is being drawn to presently. Earlier this year I quoted Arthur Brooks on a similar theme:

...As we grow older in the West, we generally think we should have a lot to show for our lives—a lot of trophies. According to numerous Eastern philosophies, this is backwards. As we age, we shouldn’t accumulate more to represent ourselves, but rather strip things away to find our true selves—and thus, to find happiness and peace.

Less is more. Enough is enough. 

Chisoku!
When browsing through the IKEA online store a couple of weeks back, we were on the verge of ordering a new floor lamp because it looked so good. After much contemplation, thankfully, we closed the browser tab without placing an order. We don’t need a new floor lamp. Buying that floor lamp would’ve been a wasteful expense and would’ve cluttered our living room. In these situations, remembering the philosophy of Chisoku helps cut down unnecessary spending.

I know I need to find ways to trigger a Chisoku awareness when I’m getting tempted by something I don’t truly need. 

Here’s to Chisoku!

—Sam

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