Having Enough

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” -Epictetus

I don’t know what they want from me 
It’s like the more money we come across
The more problems we see
– The Notorious B.I.G., song “Mo Money Mo Problems”

“Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.” -Naval Ravikant

There are two paths to being wealthy.

One. Have way more money than you could ever want.

Two. Have very few wants. (See philosophies/movements like Minimalism or Essentialism)

Either path, you’re wealthy in that your wants and needs are covered. Just know the first path will probably cause you more stress. The more you want, the more you have to work. The second path–if you can be disciplined to know and stick to exactly what you want and why–will give you more time to make art. As Arthur Brooks writes in his book, From Strength To Strength, “Your satisfaction is what you have, divided by what you want.” Popular culture urges us to keep increasing the numerator. Instead, what if we focus on reducing the denominator by desiring less?

Ryan Holiday shares this great story on a recent blog post….

The writers Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were at a glamorous party outside New York City. Standing in the palatial second home of the billionaire host, Vonnegut began to needle his friend. “Joe,” he said, “how does it feel that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel has earned in its entire history?”

“I’ve got something he can never have,” Heller replied. “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”

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