The More Factor

You will never stop wanting more until you allow yourself to have what you already have. To take it in. Savor it. Now is a good time to do that.. – Geneen Roth

I live in a classic commuter borough in New Jersey. It’s quaint, reflects and revels in the spirit of Americana, and at Christmas time, is a scene straight from Bedford Falls. I love so many things about where I live, but I’ve noticed a trend in upper middle to affluent pockets of towns like mine, which is an emphasis within conversation about more. Listen, there’s nothing wrong with a dream, or even a reality, where more is possible. Nice things are nice for a reason. However, when someone constantly lives in a state of excess, and they only talk about the next project or pursuit, with more being the underlying factor, it’s problematic. “To talk of tomorrow’s things and miss today’s stuff,” is one of the best ways I’ve heard it phrased.

All of us, myself especially, need to practice the art of present gratitude. To be thankful, truly thankful, void of wanting more, is a beautiful and beneficial state of mind. Note that I used the word wanting and not needing. There are indeed situations where needing is imperative to improve the quality of life and beneficial for others. This is the asterisk worth mentioning and remembering.

Last night I was at a birthday party and a peer parent and I dialogued on the subject of secure gratitude. To be comfortable and happy with life without the mention of more should be the gold star standard we seek and celebrate. To do this means to forgo comparison and criticism, which are rampant in culture and conversation. It should be explained that the goal is not perfection. We aim to identify progress in how we converse and what we recognize as valuable. When we trend in the direction of more, let it be more awareness, empathy, and kindness. Friends, be where you are this week. Express gratitude profusely and passionately. Do so with ardent fervor and no expectation of return.

When the madness of more stops, the magic shines brighter.