Goldilocks: A Guru Who Is Just Right

I want to share this story with you from Derek Sivers blog, the guy who created the company CD Baby.

He describes two friends at a party in a billionaire’s mansion. One says: “Wow! This guy has everything”.

The other replies: “Yeah, but I have something he’ll never have. Enough.”

We’re rarely trained to aim for enough. It’s always more, more, more.

But I’ve learned that the answer to most of life’s problems is to set limits.

I’m too stressed? Limit the amount of projects I work on at any one time.

I’m too distracted? Limit the amount of times I check my email per day.

The same goes for stuff. I hate stuff. I never used to. The idea of getting the latest this or the latest that would give me a giddy thrill.

But now I see it for the clutter it is.

My house used to be a bit of a tip. Why? Too much stuff. It was bloody everywhere. And 80% of it I never even used. The bulk of it is gone now. I’d recommend a similar de-cluttering exercise.

If you own stuff, it brings stresses. You worry someone will nick it for instance. Or you pay out to insure it in case it breaks. Or you have to find places to store it. Or it’s in your way so you can’t properly relax because there’s stuff everywhere. Or you have to clean it and maintain it.

Plus you have to work longer and stress harder in your job to get the money to buy the stuff in the first place.

So the more possessions, the more stresses. They make you miserable even though they promise that they’ll make you happy. It’s all a big fat lie.

Same for how we spend money. It’s often spent on crap. But think on this.

If you only spent money on something that genuinely made you happier or that you genuinely needed rather than spending it impulsively on any old thing, you’d spend less, so you’d need to earn less, so you’d be freer because you wouldn’t need to work so much, and you’d fear your boss less, and so you’d be stronger politically too because you’d take less shit.

And you’d have more time for yourself and your friends and the things that truly inspire you.

Living more simply and setting limits is the way forward. It’s not about sacrifice. It’s about knowing which point represents “enough.”

Remember the story of Goldilocks. She never wanted the big bowl or the big chair or the big bed. She was aiming for the one that was just right. The one that was enough.

It’s empowering. Give it a go.

#cd baby#clutter#derek sivers#enough#limits#living simply#possessions#set limits#setting limits#stress#stressed#work


  1. Kay - December 5, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

    This man is wise, and it is the perfect season to heed his gentle suggestion.

  2. Chappers - December 5, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

    I’ve been living with ‘enough’ for about 7 years now. In 2002 I got rid of a very materialistic husband who worksed himself to exhaustion just to have a better car than his friends, and a motorbike in the Summer and a speedboat for waterskiing and scuba holidays and so on. It really did not suit me, and it felt very uncomfortable.
    As soon as I was single, I got rid of all forms of credit and I live within my means at all times. Everything I own, I actually own, it was bought by me, not with an overdraft or a credit card or whatever. There’s no TV in my house, which means that I am not told what I should be getting up to my eyes in debt for during the commercial breaks.
    I buy second hand and make good and when my use for something has expired I advertise it on Freecycle or sell it on eBay if I need the cash to replace it with something else. This means I’m not precious about any posessions.
    You’re right Al, it is very empowering. It means I’m able to keep a low-wage, stress-free easy 9-5 job, and it means I have the energy and mental capacity to ‘play’ at things I love to do: writing, listening to music, and so on.
    If ever the rug was pulled from under my feet, it wouldn’t matter a bit. I’d get rid of everything again, up-sticks and move on.
    Freedom equals happiness! :)

  3. Colin - December 22, 2009 @ 7:05 am

    I think a song is on its way!!

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