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Breaking Even: When is Enough, Enough?

I had the most interesting discussion today with a friend of mine. He and I were chatting about the economy, his job, families, and life in general. The one point that he kept raising was that of his "needing to do more" to pay the bills, be with his family, get promoted at work, fix the hot water heater, etc. It's always the "need to do more" to better accommodate more.

I had to stop and think for a minute --- more for more? That doesn't make sense! If you have to do more, to handle more, yet there is no more time and energy and your quality of life decreases with each "more" you acquire --- that means that somewhere in the prior "mores" was a break-even point. There must have been some point in there were "more" was enough and everything was great --- yet we missed the peak because we were busily looking at something "more".

--- Is less more? ---

I always wondered what that meant --- "less is more". Actually, you have to have something to begin with to have less and know what this means. I remember during the fires in Colorado --- we went from living in a gorgeous, huge house, on a mountain, to living in a pickup truck and hotel room for two weeks. We had much less --- but at that time we had everything we needed: my wife, myself, and the two dogs. We were safe and realized that nothing else mattered --- our peak? Perhaps. But, life went on and we rebuilt our lives around necessities instead of "more". We now have everything we need, and a few things we want, but we looked for that break even point and are now happier than ever before.

--- Where is my break even? ---

This point is different for everyone, but the break even point, I've found, is when you have everything that satisfies your core needs in life and you have the opportunity to take the time and enjoy them all. Everything beyond that point begins to put stress on your life, love, and career and the quality of life begins to decrease because of the amount of energy and time involved in maintaining the "more".

The best way to determine your break even point on your quality of life is to examine your basic needs such as food, water, air, relationships, love, and self-satisfaction. Once you've satisfied your core requirements of existence, then you can move forward to attain your self-realization and achieve those things that you want to define your life.

Many times, people grasp and grab at anything they can because they are looking for something to satisfy their needs and desires. In the process, they acquire a tremendous amount of unnecessary clutter in their life and begin to run into time and resource issues. But, they have all of this "stuff" to find that it was nothing that they needed or wanted to satisfy their lives.

To achieve your break even, you have to analyze what you want in life and only acquire those things, material and spiritual, that are of benefit to your ultimate Vision and goals. Realize that, if it doesn't drive your life forward, then it isn't necessary! Perhaps you want family, career, and financial stability so that you can enhance your quality of life. Indeed, a valiant goal, but what is keeping your from achieving this goal?

--- What's next? ---

I am not saying that you should live in squalor! I am saying, live a life that is full and rich, but do so in such a way that is beneficial to your Vision and does not diminish your quality of life. Establish a Vision, define your Mission, and streamline your life to achieve your goals. Don't meander through life and grab at just anything to fill voids and dreams. Take hold of those things that mean something and truly fulfill your dreams!

About The Author

Edward B. Toupin is an author, life-strategy coach, counselor, technical writer, and PhD Candidate living in Las Vegas, NV. Among other things, he authors books, articles, and screenplays on topics ranging from career success through life organization and fulfillment. For more information, e-mail Edward at or visit his sites at or


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