December 17, 2023

Harmony and Hustle: The Duality of Human Nature



We were boating in Naples and gliding through a channel near a marina where many boats were docked. I’m always entertained by the creative names people choose for their vessels, so on this particular day, I read the names aloud as we passed through. On one side of the channel, I saw a boat entitled “It’s Enough.” Directly across the channel was another vessel of similar size with the name “Never Enough.” 

I laughingly called out the irony to my boat mates and asked them, “Which one are you.” 

Both answered, “It’s enough.” 

Anyone who knows me even a little knows I fall decidedly into the abyss of “Never enough.”

The “it’s enough” mindset is a perspective of contentment for what one already has. These people find peace in the present and are less likely to be consumed by stress because they focus on what they have rather than what they lack. They believe true happiness comes from within and that pursuing more may not necessarily lead to a fulfilled life.

This mindset can lead to more fulfilling relationships, as it encourages people to cherish and appreciate the people in their lives. Gratitude is a powerful tool for building and maintaining connections with others.

Those like me in a “never enough” mindset are characterized by an insatiable hunger for more. Those who embrace this mentality are often driven, ambitious, and constantly seeking more. They see opportunities for growth and advancement everywhere they turn and are motivated by the idea that there’s always room for improvement.

Individuals with a “never enough” mindset are often high achievers. They set ambitious goals and work tirelessly to attain them. This mindset can lead to personal and professional growth, encouraging continuous learning and self-improvement.

People in this mindset are open to change and adaptability. They are more likely to step out of their comfort zones and explore new opportunities, which can lead to innovation and progress.

The pitfalls of being“never enough” can lead to perfectionism and burnout. The pressure to always do better and want more can affect relationships when focusing on achievement overshadows other aspects of life. My “it’s enough” spouse recently pointed out that I’m so busy pursuing the next thing that I’m not investing in relationships. That was hard to hear — because it’s the truth. 

Sometimes, I’m too busy focusing on catapulting out of my comfort zone and seeking adventures that I forget to stop and appreciate what is right before me. I want to live a thousand lives — but sometimes, that can be at the expense of personal relationships.

And I know that the “it’s enough” people in my life experience the risk of complacency. While contentment is a beautiful state of mind, those who never strive for more may miss out on personal growth and new opportunities.

So, there is no right or wrong in whichever vessel you identify. The battle between the “never enough” and “it’s enough” mindsets reflects the complexity of human nature. Both perspectives offer valuable lessons; finding the right balance that brings fulfillment and happiness. 

Embrace the mindset that aligns with your values, and always strive for a life that feels “enough” to you.

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