Marianne Klancke – Enough is Enough
November 25, 2009
Thanksgiving is gratitude day. We are constantly reminded that gratitude expands our lives, attracts fulfillment and should be honored on Thanksgiving Day, as well as every day. This is easy enough advice to follow if all one needs to do is recite a daily “thanks”. Yet, somehow we all know that there is more to gratitude than mere lip service.
When do you feel toe-tingling-true gratitude? Is it when you sense that you have enough? “Enough” should carry with it an awareness of what exactly is sufficient for your needs. Are we talking about food, shelter, safety and necessities, or are we discussing the needs of love, money, time and happiness? What enough is enough? When is enough, enough? Whose enough is enough?
When my father would yell, “Enough is enough,” to my quarreling brother and me, I do not believe he was schooling us in gratitude, however he did demonstrate the elusiveness of the term “enough.” My sibling and I never grasped the full scope of my father’s “enough” as it was so different than ours. As is true in all things, “enough” – every person has their own individual criterion, was the lesson that I did learn.
Perhaps your gratitude bubbles forth when you are on the satiated side of “enough”? You may think that having more than what one considers sufficient would naturally cause great gratitude. However, here again is a lesson to be experienced. As a life coach, I often observe that an individual’s definition of “enough” may turn into an elusive moving target that seems to constantly fall short of gratitude.
On the opposite hand, consider the times you were absolutely down and out and you were given something of need. Food. Shelter from a storm. A second chance. Were you full of gratitude? That would all depend on your expectations. Here is where we begin to understand that our sense of gratitude has no proportionate correlation to us actually having adequate amounts, or surpassing our wildest dreams or even us lacking necessities.
A rich man can be ungrateful just as often as a poor man, full of gratitude. Wealthy communities do not necessarily have the gratitude of its citizens any more than ones with nothing more to offer than their strong sense of community. There is no magic dynamics meter devised to measure the manifestation of gratitude, both individually and communally.
To truly harness gratitude, we must examine our “more is better” sensibilities. Take a piece of paper and first write the word “enough” on one side and then script “more” on the other side. Now, start on the “enough” side, choose any need, basic or not, and focus on the calm energy you gain when you think about having enough of this need. Next, flip to your “more” side and realize the strained energy you experience when you shift your thinking to fixate on that which you are lacking. Try another subject and then another.
We can motivate our whole lives with the stress of “more” rather than the relief of “enough,” which may very well be human nature. Yet, I believe gratitude to be the great equalizer between these two powerful energies. Start small and build your gratitude muscles for every life topic. By whatever definition or measurement you apply to any given consideration of want, practice every day to find the place in your thoughts that gives you gratitude.
No matter the quantity or quality of your circumstances, gratitude is the building block that nourishes your productive energy. It is from a grateful perspective that you clearly know and grow your fortune: Your resources, your challenges, and your strengths. Realize that enough is enough, because you can make it so with a single thought of gratitude.
Have a happy day of thanks and gratitude. May your enough always be enough.
– Marianne Klancke is a certified professional coach and group development facilitator. What are your coaching questions or communication concerns? She welcomes any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.