Jeremy Côté

Enough Is Up To You

If you’re like me, chances are you have felt like you aren’t doing enough. Maybe that means not studying enough in school, or perhaps it means not doing enough extra-curricular activities. Maybe you do have hobbies, but you feel like you need to do more.

I’ve been there.

If this is something you identify with, I would like to pose a simple question. Where did the idea of not doing enough comes from?

Sure, you might be the one telling yourself that you should do more, but where did this idea come from? I urge you to inspect this idea, and try to trace its origins. It might seem at first like it is something that bubbled up from our own consciousness, and if so, then that’s not a problem. My worry is that you will find that this idea is not something you came up with, but something that was implanted.

We are shaped by those around us. The people we spend our time with and the ideas we let enter into our lives inform what we do next. This happens to everyone, and you can’t do much to stop it (short of becoming a recluse). The solution isn’t to isolate ourselves. Rather, a great first step is to acknowledge that your surroundings shape you and take the necessary steps to design your environment accordingly. You can’t do anything about the fact that your environment changes you, but you can be more thoughtful about what you let into your life.

By doing this, you can shift what other people expect of you, which will affect how much “enough” looks like. When you are surrounded with people you trust to look out for you, it’s easy to accept what they think is “enough” for you.

Remember, you don’t have to follow what society thinks is “normal” for you. Maybe most people do this specific thing as a consequence of that thing, but you don’t have to follow in their footsteps.

I would suggest thinking about your various goals. For each one, ask yourself if you are the one that really wants this, or if it’s a goal that comes from someone else. It might be scary to uncover that a goal you thought you held dear was actually the goal someone else had for you, but the sooner you face this fact, the sooner you can set goals that you want.

We all have a limited time to achieve our goals. As such, don’t you think it’s worth making sure that your notion of “enough” is something that you chose, versus what society imposed on you?