Thoughts for No One in Particular

Knowing what’s enough

This morning I woke up early. Today is the middle day of the long weekend, and I will have an extra day to go out and play, so I had listed up quite a few things I could do. And looking at the list, I thought I did not have enough time to do them all. So I had to wake up early.


As I went to the bathroom sink to brush my teeth, I picked up the toothpaste tube and noticed I had a little less than the amount I usually put on the toothbrush left in it. I squeezed really hard until the last bit came out, but I still did not get what I believed was enough. But because I store a stock of toothpaste tubes elsewhere, and thinking I did not have enough time to go get a new one, I decided to brush my teeth with an amount of toothpaste I believed was a little less than enough.


But, as it turns out, there was no shortage! I could brush my teeth just as well with a little less toothpaste. Without knowing, I must have been increasing the amount little by little… never doubting that that would make my teeth cleaner and whiter and stronger against cavities and keep my breath fresh, as it says on the tube. Without knowing, I had lost a sense of knowing what is enough.


So, when I finished brushing my teeth and came back to the list of things I could do today, I took a second standing still to think if I really did not have enough time to do them all.

Maybe it is not that I do not have enough time, but that I should learn to do just enough things in the time I am given.


Then I took a few more moments sitting down to think if I really had not wanted more than enough things for myself.

Maybe I could have them all if I wanted to, but I only want them because they are lying there right in front of me, easily within reach.


And I decided to take a much longer while staying home to think if I have really given enough thought to my long weekend plan.

Maybe I ended up with a long list of things to do because I was very tired from work last week and I wanted to refresh my mind… but maybe I will be exhausted if I do them all and will begin next week even more tired.


I do not think it is necessarily bad to want more. After all, it is the driving force that pushes us to grow and be better.And I suppose there is a fine line between not wanting too much, and procrastinating all together. But if we want too much, not only do we lose marginal utility out of the extra wants we hold, we could incur larger marginal cost with every incremental want.


Maybe we need to remember the break-even points in us. Maybe we must always be aware of what is enough so we can accurately measure if our wants are really healthy for ourselves.


After a long ponderous day, I have cut down the list of things to do this long weekend to just two more, with proven utility in me… can you guess?? If I do not procrastinate, I hope to tell you about them in the coming days, so stay tuned to find out if you have guessed correctly!


One thought on “Knowing what’s enough

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