“I had to figure out what was enough.”
I was sitting across from a friend. It had been eight years since we last connected. Past conversations had focused on growing our businesses, our relationships with our wives, and raising our new families. Back then, we were young entrepreneurs with an eye toward the future and big dreams. As we reminisced and caught up, he hit me with that statement…
“I had to figure out what was enough.”
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to define “enough.” My answers have changed through the years – they’re much different today than when this friend and I first met. I’ve learned to find contentment where I’m at. I’m no less driven today than I’ve ever been (in fact, I might be more driven), but my priorities have shifted dramatically. When I recently spent time slowing down for goal-setting, I challenged myself to define what “perfect” looks like in my life. Or, in other words, what is “enough?” I spent time envisioning what “enough” would look like and feel like, and I wrote it down as vividly as I could so I could spend time focusing on it every day.
As a writer, and specifically in my Depth Not Width blog, I’ve always tried to be transparent and real. With that in mind, here’s where I landed as I wrestled with my “enoughs”…
In the area of my family, this is what “enough” looks like: Cristina and I have a strong marriage with a deep level of connection. I’m focused on her needs, and I’m letting her know she is valued, treasured, and special. As a blended family (still in the blender) our bonds are strong. I’m spending quality one-on-one time with my kids and helping each of them envision and achieve their dreams. They’re connecting with me as their dad, and with Cristina as their step-mom. When we experience conflicts, we’re respectful rather than battling. We listen, we empathize, and we hear one another. We don’t always agree, but we work hard to understand one another. We travel together, celebrate together, and spend time together.
In the area of my faith, this is what “enough” looks like: I’m spending time each day in the Word, prayer, and meditation. I’m leading Cristina and the twins in growing their faith, and God lives in the center of our home, not the edges. I have strong relationships with other men who share my faith, and we lift one another up and protect each other like a band of brothers. My faith guides my business and my work, and I work hard to be a light to my clients. When hard times come, and they will, I lean back into my faith as my stronghold. My faith is my go-to in all things.
In the area of my finances, this is what “enough” looks like: We are free from debt, and we live with open hands. Cristina, the kids and I can get the things we need and the things we want, and we have the freedom to give generously. We’re able to take trips together as a couple and as a family regularly. We tithe to our church, and we’re also free to support the non-profits we care about financially. The kids can attend the schools we want for them. We’re honoring God with our finances in everything we do, and our faith guides our decisions. We care about others, and our eyes are open to those in need.
In the area of my fitness, this is what “enough” looks like: I exercise at the gym three times each week, and I walk daily. Each morning I eat a good breakfast, and I’m drinking plenty of water. I spend my day eating healthy snacks – nuts, vegetables, and fruit. I eat a light lunch and a healthy dinner, and I don’t snack after 8:00. I fast from time to time, but I don’t regularly skip meals. Each night I get a full eight hours of sleep. My physical numbers are all falling in a healthy range. My energy is high – my body feels energetic and strong. I am flexible and fit, ready to live a vibrant life for many years to come with Cristina and the twins.
These descriptions are my “enough.” To be clear, I haven’t “arrived” in any of these areas yet – I’m a work in progress in every one. These are simply the pictures I’ve painted in my mind of what I am striving for. I began writing this a week ago. Since then, two things happened that have amplified the importance of understanding “enough”…
First, I went on a two-day retreat that allowed me the time I needed to reset and re-evaluate my priorities. I was able to spend moments of quiet where I could dig into my version of “enough” and what that meant to me not just for today, but for the legacy I want to leave behind. It was a powerful experience… turning everything off and giving my mind time to quit racing, settle in, and get focused on the right things, not everything. I was able to chase depth in those moments.
Then, yesterday morning, Kobe Bryant died suddenly in a helicopter crash with his thirteen-year-old daughter. He’s just a few years younger than me, and his daughter was thirteen, the same age as my twins. Kobe was a great basketball player to me, nothing more, but the weight of this loss hit me hard. In an instant, their lives were swept away unexpectedly. No time to backtrack, and no time to do more. In my life, I want to expect the unexpected and be prepared when my time finally comes. I want to say I made the most of every moment. That begins with understanding my version of “enough” and spending each day working to make it a reality.
Consider the areas of your life that matter to you today. I shared my personal versions of “enough” with you here. Now, write your own. The areas that you want to focus on may be different than mine. No matter where your priorities land, define what “enough” is for you. It all begins with using your imagination and building a picture in your mind of what perfect looks like, feels like, sounds like… and then taking steps to make it happen.
Ready for more?
If this challenged you, and you want to continue being challenged, subscribe here to the Depth Not Width blog. I’ll be back in a week to share about the power of active listening and how to leverage it in your life, both personally and professionally. Til then, have an awesome rest of your week and keep working to create depth in your life! – John Gamades