At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel ‘Catch-22′ over its whole history.
“Yes, but I have something he will never have…enough.”
A couple of weeks ago I referred to The Resistance Monster inside us – the one that stops us taking useful action on important work or the things that matter most.
A close ally of this inner entity is The More Monster.
Very simple. More!
More money, more recognition, more customers, more attention, more fun, more exercise, more material wealth. So what you might say?
The problem is that when you create from ‘more’, yes you can achieve better things but usually the More Monster takes over inside us and we are perpetually dis-satisfied. When we get ‘more’, we inevitably want ‘even more’! There is also more stress and nothing satisfies us – except pursuing more.
When you create from ‘enough’ something interesting happens. There is less tension, their is more joy and humour along the way and you tend to focus on creating things that are more aligned with what’s best for you, your business and your family/community. You appreciate more deeply what’s already with you, and that builds a more stable and productive state of mind.
The world of marketing and advertising plays on the insatiable appetite of the More Monster within by telling us that we haven’t arrived until we have a certain income, net-worth, the latest gadget, the newest car, the trendiest holiday, achieved a certain level in our field.
I’ve often had clients argue with me that the ‘More Monster’ drives progress. It’s a longer conversation but my experience tells me that it inhibits real progress because it’s usually coming from the ego.
But most concerning of all, the More Monster mindset subtly kills appreciation for the great in your life, in your business and it usually damages your state of mind and your relationships.
As an experiment, this week consciously spend a few minutes at the start and end of your day reflecting on what you already have that your grateful for.
Simple as it sounds, it’s a profound way of taming the More Monster and yet, weirdly making you more productive.
P.S. – Both Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were successful writers. The source of the above story was a poem, written by Vonnegut on the death of his friend and published by the New Yorker magazine in 2005. Here it is:
True Story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.
I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel ‘Catch-22’has earned in its entire history?”
And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”
And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”
And Joe said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
Not bad! Rest in Peace!
New Podcast Episode: Why do you hit periods where you’re great? What are the unseen variables that allow this to happen. That’s what we explore in the latest episode of The Inner Edge out today. Listen on my website here or on all major podcasting platforms.