The next stop on my journey is a challenging and thought-provoking book that writer in london (writerinlondon.wordpress.com) was kind enough to recommend to me after my original series of posts on clearing out excess stuff.
“Enough”, sub-titled: “Breaking free from the world of excess”, focusses on humanity’s survival strategy of chasing after “more” of anything and everything that makes us successful, or that makes us appear to be surviving better than those around us. The book is based on the premise that humanity in the West now has more than it could ever want or need, and Naish notes that we, the human race, are rapidly heading into disaster. The Earth’s resources are finite and we are depleting stocks of all its resources at an alarming and selfish rate just to fulfill our “ancient need” for more of everything. Not only that, but we are also suffering increasing levels of stress, loneliness, relationship breakdowns and general dissatisfaction which can only lead to harm in the long-term.
Naish splits this very easy-to-read book into clearly defined sections:
- ENOUGH information
- ENOUGH food
- ENOUGH stuff
- ENOUGH work
- ENOUGH options
- ENOUGH happiness
- ENOUGH growth
- Never enoughs (picking up on the benefits of living a grateful and thankful lifestyle in being able to say “I have enough”)
Each section ends with a number of challenging questions, actions, tips and ideas to help the keen reader start to change their attitude and habits. For example, under “ENOUGH information” Naish challenges us to set up our inboxes to only receive emails every 90mins [this didn’t quite work for me as our email system at work would not let me stop receiving emails but I adapted the idea so I now operate an “action items” folder where all my current work is stored and only review new items in the inbox once every hour – amazingly it increased my efficiency at work much as Naish suggested it would]. Under “ENOUGH stuff” we are challenged to buy sustainable goods (less focus on fashion and more on long-lasting items) and to consider just how much we actually need or will use the item we are about to buy. “ENOUGH happiness” reminds us that we have to make a decision to be content with what we have – it is only up to us to stop chasing after more. “ENOUGH work” encourages us to jump off the “corporate machine” and recognise that sometimes more money really isn’t everything. And there are plenty more tips under each of the sections.
Given that I prefer fiction, I was pleasantly surprised by how down-to-earth and easy-to-read “Enough” was. Having read it by the pool on holiday I have since found myself regularly turning back to it for tips or ideas.
Naish tackles the potentially controversial subject of “less is more” with incredible ease. I felt encouraged to make changes but never threatened into it. It is not a book about consumerism, a pure self-help book or a book about the environment but Naish manages to cover off all these areas and more in a straightforward and manageable fashion. There were some areas that I felt were less relevant to me than others but overall it was an excellent, thought-provoking read.
If you have ever felt that you wished you could just “stop the world” for a day or that you could do something to make a difference, then this just might be the book for you.
Let me know which tips and ideas you are planning on trying out!