I’ll never forget the day I asked one of my young piano students what he wanted for Christmas. It was a generic question, a pleasantry. I wasn’t looking for make, model, and serial number, but that’s what I got. He whipped out a 60-page list from his book bag. I gulped, checked to see if this child was serious (he was), and quickly proceeded with his music lesson. 

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I don’t know how many toys, electronics, and gadgets he had on that list, but at five things per page that would be three hundred entries. I’ll admit to participating in a few overly indulged Christmases in my foolish past, but even I cannot imagine what that child’s dream Christmas would look like. 

Somehow, I think that most of us have a bit of that kid in us. We want it all. And every bank and credit-card company out there is affirming the notion and willing to make it happen. 

We see what we like and feel entitled to get what we want because we want it and we want it all now.

In time, however, we reach the maximum level of satisfaction. It happens quietly, without fanfare. In fact, we might not be aware that we made it, so we keep working at it. More striving to get more stuff to keep feeling satisfied. And the more we attempt to increase that level, the more difficult it becomes to retain a sense of fulfillment. More becomes less as our feelings of satisfaction diminish.

By the looks of some of our closets and garages, we’ve been doing a pretty good job of trying to get it all. But how much of it satisfies? How much of what we have is actually contributing to the quality of our lives?

The secret of living the life you love is the ability to identify the point of maximum fulfillment, the point of “enough.” More than what it takes to reach maximum fulfillment will not increase your happiness; in fact, it begins eating  away at your sense of satisfaction. 

Get in touch with your internal satisfaction “meter.” Doing this will be very revealing. Rate your possessions. How much satisfaction do they give you?

If you consider everything in your life—family, friends, furniture, cars, Beany Baby collection—rating its level of satisfaction, you will learn a lot about yourself and your current situation.

Question: Have you ever thought about what your point of maximum fulfillment looks like? Are you there? Still striving for even more?

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