FOCUS: Enough

DISCIPLINES: Mental Models, Personal Mastery, Shared Vision

There comes a point where having more than we need becomes a burden.
- Lynne Twist


In decluttering my office this week, I realized that all the stuff I have saved — because I might need it one day — crowds both my office and my head.

Many of us are living a paradox. We feel as if we have too little time, too little energy, too little money, not enough love, sex, beauty or creativity, and diminishing amounts of clean air and water in our lives. And yet we have too many clothes, too many toys and gadgets and knickknacks, too much food, too much stuff. Is there a connection between this scarcity on the one hand and excess on the other?

I was deeply touched when I heard Lynne Twist (The Soul of Money) speak recently. She thinks that a primary driver today is a prevailing belief in scarcity. She was mentored by the great futurist and humanist, R. Buckminster Fuller, who taught an amazing and not-yet-believed truth. At this point in human evolution, he said in 1976, we can choose to move from a you-or-me world — a world where either you win or I win — to a you-and-me world, where all of us have enough food, enough water, enough land, enough housing and enough of the fundamental things for each one of us to live a fulfilling and productive life. How thrilling that there really IS enough! Bucky, as he was called, also predicted that it would take us 50-100 years to make the required shift in the way we think and relate to ourselves and the world to grasp this truth.

Twist calls the idea of enough “exquisite,” because our needs are met precisely.

“When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have. And when you make a difference with what you have, it expands.”

The truth is that most of us don’t know much about “enough.” We don’t know when we’ve had enough to eat, or drink, when we’ve worked enough, bought enough clothes or toys. We always seem to want more. And wanting more keeps us from enjoying what we have.

According to Lynne Twist, when we let go of trying to get more, we recognize that our needs are always met in miraculous ways. I was thrown back in memory to all the times as a young mother when I lost sleep because I didn’t know how we’d pay the bills or buy food. Yet — it IS a miracle — somehow the bills got paid and we didn’t starve! I’m thinking this idea of “enough” is the doorway to much greater peace of mind.

Twist offered several ways to practice sufficiency. I pass them on with a few of my own as the coaching tips this month.


  1. Declutter your life – at least once a week for one hour.

  2. Realize that everything you bring into your life requires care and feeding. Think of this when you contemplate buying something new.

  3. Practice appreciation. (Shift any conversation turned to scarcity to sufficiency; tell someone 3 things you appreciate about him/her; tell the clerk at the post office and the grocery store that you appreciate them.)

  4. When you give gifts, give intangibles – quality time, for instance. Give a gift certificate for an overnight trip, 3 hours of gardening, or time spent doing something the recipient needs or loves.

  5. Begin every meal with appreciation of where the food came from and pay attention to that moment when your body has had exactly enough.

  6. Go through your check book and your credit card bills. Be more conscious of what you use, consume, spend. Contribute money to things you believe in, truly care about.


There won’t be a telegathering this month, because we are off to Seattle to the Systems Thinking in Action Conference, our very favorite conference every year. Hope to see many of you there!

Read an excerpt from Liberating Greatness, the Whole Brain Guide to an Extraordinary Life, the book Hal and I wrote, at

Sharon Eakes | 720 Maple Lane | Sewickley, PA 15143

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