Knowing When to Say “When”

How many improvements have been made to the toothbrush in the past 20 years? Ergonomic rubber grips, bent necks, flexible necks, multi-colored & multi-level bristles – oh, and don’t forget the little rubber pick at the bottom of that one toothbrush handle…

Then we had to have electric toothbrushes so that we could add pulsating-oscillating-rotating bristles, massage settings, quadrant timers, color-changing heads, and gum care pressure sensors.

NOW we have the Rinser! The Rinser toothbrush “features a built-in scoop that funnels the water into a small hole in the handle, instantly transforming your toothbrush into a water fountain!”

Seriously??

Will the poor toothbrush ever be good enough? Isn’t it possible that we may have already passed that standard long ago? That maybe we should just let it go and turn our attention to something that actually needs attention – like world hunger, climate change, terrorism?

We have a problem knowing when to say when. This means we don’t yet understand the concept of having “enough” (quantity) or of being “good enough” (quality).

• Do we really need chicken-and-waffle-flavored potato chips? Wouldn’t it be preferable just to eat chicken and waffles if that’s what we’re craving?

• Is it really necessary to put “puddle lights” on cars? Aren’t we smart enough to wear water-proof shoes or boots if it’s raining?

• Why is call-waiting a good idea? Does anyone really like this better than an old-fashioned busy signal?

• Have you had a good look at women’s high heels these days? (Even the original ones were pretty stupid, weren’t they?)

“Enough” means “a sufficient amount – or degree – to meet a specified need.” It’s a measure of quantity or quality, yes – but it’s also a measure of satisfaction. When we believe we have enough – or what we have is good enough – we are content.

When we believe nothing to be good enough as it is, we live in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction. What we have … or are … or do … may very well be sufficient – but for some reason, we’re not happy with it. We always want new and improved, bigger and better, the latest upgrade, the widest bandwidth. We want more! We want more!

We. Are. Never. Satisfied. But isn’t that the object of the game – to be satisfied with our life, our self, our situation, our possessions, our position? Isn’t that what we’re all working towards? Isn’t that where we all think we’re headed? Do we still believe it’s possible to get there someday…somehow?

And – the real question – for you – is this: are you willing to be unhappy until everything meets your satisfaction standards (which, of course, will never happen)?

Maybe it’s really quite simple. Maybe we just need to stop thinking everything needs to be improved. Maybe we could somehow learn to be grateful that things are as good as they are – which, in the grand scheme of things on the planet, is pretty damned fantastic. Why don’t we just try to eliminate the phrase “not good enough” from our vocabulary, realize that everything we have is probably already more than good enough, and see what happens?

Could it be that simple?

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