The freedom to have enough
When the freedom from constraints has you feeling lost and unsure of how to act, take a moment to appreciate your freedom to pursue a new aim.
Nowadays we have access to immense computing power in our pockets, we have self-driving cars, and we are seeing deliveries being made by autonomous drones. Just 50 years ago, this sort of technology would have been solely confined to science fiction novels. Even if you are an average person living an average life anywhere in the West or in many emerging countries, you probably have a roof over your head, and you have enough to eat. You likely have a PC, tablet, or smartphone, along with internet access, to be able to read this.
The odds are, you’re reading this post because you’re part of the #watchfam – and as such, you have some disposable income to spend on mechanical watches which, I’m sure you’ll agree, are not essential to our survival at all. Indeed, many of the watches you might own, are worth enough money to feed a hungry homeless kid for a year. Eek!
Despite that, are we ever content?
Often, we are not. Things don’t go our way. Someone is ‘plotting against us’. We really need this upcoming job promotion. We don’t have enough. We need a better watch, faster car, a bigger house, a more high profile job, to live in a better neighbourhood, or even… better weather. The reasons for discontent are limitless.
As Marcus Aurelius once said… you need very few things to be happy. An expensive watch or a cheap one, big house or a small one, a luxurious car or a simple one, expensive clothes or designer ones… these things all serve their basic purposes equally well.
The thing is, most of the time we aren’t unhappy because we have too little; rather, it is because someone else has more. I once discussed a study where people were surveyed, and asked about a certain level of pay they would be happy with… they chose a certain level which they would be happy with, but became unhappy when they learned that a colleague had settled on a higher number (I think it was the work of Dan Ariely, but I’ve forgotten the exact resource - sorry)!