How much enough is enough? Look at that PICture every day.
“The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away. “
Which model will you choose? I asked him. I don’t know yet. He is the third of my friends to tell me he will be granted a company car.
As I am congratulating them, the first thing that comes to mind is:
Why not me?
It is not jealousy. It feels more like envy, one of the seven sins. Yes, it is not pretty. For a moment, I envied my friends for having a company car while driving the second-hand car I bought in 2013.
We are all victims of ads, comparing ourselves with other people. We struggle to define the essential thing in our lives. We are all in that frantic race to fill our lives with more stuff to eliminate the meaningless emptiness inside. Just one more new phone. Just one nicer car. Just the next promotion. Just one bigger house.
We fail to ask the one question that is screaming back to us:
How much enough is enough?
I have never really sat down with myself to have that conversation. But, yes, I came to France with just a suitcase with all my belongings. Now I have a big house with more space than I could have imagined. I have a decent job and am well paid compared to most people around me or back in Senegal, my heart country.
I often use the power of contrast to reflect on how far I have come. Yet now and then, I am a victim of the saying below:
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
I use the power of contrasting my life here in France to the lives of many people in Senegal. I often see how fortunate I am to live in a country with free healthcare and minimum wage, where I can find vegetables and non-processed food at a competitive price.
I am not saying that France is all shining and glorious. Yet I feel lucky to be in this part of the world where my kids can benefit from many unfair advantages.
I have been robbed by comparison so many times in my life. I have willingly given my time, and my presence, to comparison so often. Yet, I need to recognize its power. I have failed to reckon with the dark power of comparing myself with others.
I have often read that the only person that I should compare myself to is the person I was yesterday. I know it. I just can’t apply it all the time.
Each day, I try to ask myself:
Hey you, what is enough for you today?
Now and then, I need to remember to raise the question. Or I just ignore it. But I am carving it in the blank of my eyes. I am repeating it in the soul of my voice. I am raising the question daily to remember the power of asking the right questions.
I have exploited a lot. And as a human being, I have concluded that the following PICture defines enough:
- Having a Purpose,
- Having an Identity,
- Having a Community.
Let me share my picture of what is enough for me.
HAVING A PURPOSE — I have been looking for my purpose in life for the last decade. As I am turning 42 years old, I hope to find the answer as H2G2.
My purpose in life is like change. It keeps changing. I have applied so many frameworks to nail it down. I have tried to find my IKIGAI. Being a comedian is excellent but in another universe.
As of today, I will define my purpose to be present and create some memories with my friends, my family, and the people who can feed my shine. I am not building wealth, not through expenses. Instead, I am creating the ultimate generational wealth: being content with what I have and focusing on living experiences as meaningful as possible.
What is your purpose in life today?
HAVING AN IDENTITY — For the first twenty years of my life, I had a default identity: the one defined by my parents, my environment, and other people’s ideas of who I should be. That was mainly my life growing up in Dakar, Senegal.
During the next ten years in France, I was lost in translation. I was neither Senegalese nor French. Instead, I was a shapeshifter with a shapeless identity.
I started grabbing my identity around my early thirties. After that, I gave up the idea of being a perfect Muslim and son to my parents. I had given up on building life back in Senegal by then.
I deliberately chose to build my new identity where I will spend most of my life. That place will likely be mainly in France.
I eventually chose not to choose between France and Senegal. I define myself as a SeneGaulois, both Senegalese and French. I define myself as a Muslim by birth and a human by choice. That’s enough for me.
How would you define your identity today?
HAVING A COMMUNITY — For most of my life in France, I tried to connect with the Senegalese or Pulaar communities. I was looking for a community that would understand me like I am. Yet at the same time, I am more than those individual communities.
I never fit in one of those communities. I never felt at home because I have included my French and European identities.
I have always felt like the color of my skin defined my community. Yet many people who shaped who I am today are not exclusively Black people. Yes, most of them are. Yet there is more diversity in my tribe of mentors.
Mother Teresa, Marcus Aurelius, The Prophet Mohammad (SAW), Tony Robbins, and Albert Einstein are the mentors who inspire me every day.
I am also inspired by people I have met online. I have many amazing people on LinkedIn, at work, and through many conversations. I have never felt so safe and myself than when those people surround me.
I never feel judged. I never feel like I have to blend in. I just come as I am. And I feel like I am enough.
Feeling enough is the best feeling that being part of the right communities can bring us. There is no price tag on that.
Being surrounded by people who accept me as I am is the most powerful identity shift. I am lucky to be part of diverse communities online and offline.
What is the community that accepts you as you are today?
Each day, when I rise, I ask myself: what is my purpose today? Who am I today? Who are the people to surround me with today?
I ask those questions daily. The answers are helping answer the more profound question of how much enough is enough.
By finding my purpose, I reflect on how much I want. Reflecting on my identity, I accept whom I have become all along the journey. Finally, I feel just enough to be surrounded by people who accept me as I am.
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You can read my previous article on Adding PI to your goals settings is the ultimate hack to achieve them. (Friendly link)
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