When do you have enough? Where do you draw the line?
Motorcycles have a finite specification for ingredients that nourish them. Lines embossed on reservoirs for oil, coolant and brake fluid indicate a minimum and maximum level. Each fluid has a specific amount required for optimal performance. More is not better and too little can ruin your bike – and you.
Unlike a motorcycle, humans don’t come with gauges or fill marks. You need to draw your own line.
9 things to draw the line on
- Acquaintances. Close relationships are precious. Keeping them healthy requires commitment, work and time. The social networking frenzy can create a preoccupation with collecting scores of friends, followers and fans, accumulating as many as possible. But friends and relationships need nurturing and interaction. Avoid getting caught up with numbers and focus on quality.
- Money. It’s necessary but how much do you really need? That answer, even the amount needed for basic sustenance, is an individual choice. When money becomes the prime motivator in life, other things — like relationships and health — can suffer.
- Things. Even though I’ve downsized and decluttered significantly in the last decade, things have a way of accumulating over time. Every “thing” you purchase comes with a cost, over and above the price tag. This includes the personal cost of work, time and energy required to earn the money to purchase it, as well as the environmental cost for manufacturing and distribution.
- Clothes. You need a certain amount of clothes for work, recreation, weather and special occasions. Closets fill up quickly. Every article of clothing needs to be cared for, and disposed of when we’re done with it. Like “things”, their cost goes beyond the price tag.
- Food. “The World Health Organization (WHO), which refers to the escalating global epidemic of obesity as “globesity,” estimates that there are more than 1 billion overweight adults globally, of whom at least 300 million are obese.” The Obesity Epidemic in Canada. Clearly we need to learn to draw the line.
- Work. From someone who struggles with this, it’s easy to spend inordinate amount of time working, as if the Universe would fall apart if you weren’t in control. There’s a delicate line between work and overwork – and only you know where that is.
- Education. There have never been so many educational choices and opportunities to upgrade, transition, refresh and start over. Continuous learning is important as an attitude and a practice but at some point, enough is enough. At least for the time being.
- Titles. Titles indicate achievements. For some they command respect. They can however get tangled up with a perception of self-worth. I’ve seen an email signature that is five full lines long! When collecting titles becomes an end to itself, it’s time to draw the line.
- Time Thieves. There are no shortage of these. Valuable in and of themselves, activities such as social networking, web surfing, television watching (alright – I question the value here) or draw you in and feed a thief called procrastination.
You walk this earth on your own journey, balancing your spiritual purpose and physical needs. You have finite resources of time and energy. Ultimately, you choose where you draw your own lines.
Reprinted from October 11, 2012