What is “the good life?” It’s the name of a rock band, an old movie, a Tony Bennett song, and numerous novels. But what is the good life for you? Is it determined by you, or someone else?
Most people agree with the definition of “the good life” as a sense of satisfaction, adequacy, comfort, well-being, contentment, even in the midst of disappointments and suffering. But for some, this is in contrast to the assumption that enough is never good enough. To enjoy a good life they need more.
To me, this thinking is fostered by two things, excessive goal setting and the media.
Setting goals to achieve success, to fulfill dreams, to have it all, and set no limits is great and honorable, but it can suggest that enough is not satisfying. Especially when it is combined with a second feature of our society, consumerism. The media makes it hard to be satisfied with enough. There are constant pressures from producers and advertisers to purchase and possess the latest and best. Social media sites snare people into comparing themselves with others who have more things, more work, more beauty…the list goes on and on. All this can make us feel insecure, or “lacking” in some way. Mentally, there is a lot of pressure if we are always striving and never arriving.
This raises the question, “How much is enough for the good life today?” If we can’t answer that question, it suggests that we can never be sure that we have enough wealth, possessions or security.
Think about it. Write it down. How much is enough for you?
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