Sam Radford

June 8, 2021

Enough already

Reading Morgan Housel’s latest blog post, I enjoyed this story told by Kurt Vonnegut:

True story, Word of Honor:

Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer now dead, and I were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island.

I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?”

And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”

And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

And Joe said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”

I touched on this theme when reviewing Housel’s book. One of the surest ways to financial freedom is getting the goalposts to stop moving. It’s also one of the hardest.

We are trained by society to always want more. More, bigger, and better.

We are programmed for dissatisfaction. (By the people wanting to sell us stuff, of course.)

Not only does this often leave us with financial problems, it also leaves us in a state of perpetual discontentment.

This is no way to live.

When I was thirteen, I visited Ghana for the first time. It was an eye-opening trip on many levels. But my enduring takeaway from that trip was this:

These people have far less than we do back home, but they seem far more content.

It’s stuck with me to this day. Not that I’ve always lived this way – far from it. But it has been there, continually trying to remind me.

More stuff does not mean more satisfaction.

I already have enough. More than enough.

And the sooner I can embrace this place – this state – of enough, the sooner I am free. 

–Sam

Got some thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from you – do hit reply or drop me a note.

@samradford | samradford.com