Day 507: When is Enough, Enough?

At what point can you say to yourself that you have tried hard enough?

I had a discussion with Bernard a few months before he died which was about how you know when you've tried hard enough, or long enough. Basically, there never is a point of "enough". Not really - not if you want to be able to say "I did everything I was able to".

In this life we all face things that make us feel like to carry on trying is futile. The fact of the matter is that that is what we will face over and over in this life - especially if we want to change the world. So why do we, in some tasks, decide that we've done "enough" but in other tasks we will never allow ourselves to stop trying?

Standing as a principle is absolute. It is not something you just do in your spare time, or when it suites you. In order to say that you did absolutely everything you could you have to actually do everything you can, which means trying until it comes right or until it completely collapses - and this is simply to show you that you need to try a different approach.

You cannot say that you want to change the world and that you will never stop trying no matter how daunting the task - but in some other "smaller" matters in your life not apply that same dedication. Sometimes it's easier to give up. It actually often is. Carrying on, trying again - after each and every apparent failure - that is difficult.

So I ask you again: When can you say that you have tried hard enough, that you have done enough? Maybe sometimes when the situation is showing you that nothing more can be done (for example a doctor trying to resuscitate a patient - there is a point where to continue would be pointless). But most of the time we stop trying because it's just too hard to carry on, or it doesn't seem to be worth it, or we've been hurt and don't feel like we can forgive and move on. These reasons, even though they are so overpowering to us when we are in the midst of all of it, are not valid. What I mean by that is that these reasons exist solely because we give attention, and therefore power, to them. We fuel them with thoughts, doubts, anxiety, fears, anger, hurt, sadness, tiredness - these are obstacles that exist simply because we are participating in their creation and continued existence.

Take away the hurt, the anger, the frustration, sadness, tiredness, fear, thoughts, doubts - whatever - and you will see that the task at hand seems much less daunting. This does not mean that everything will work out - it is simply you giving yourself the opportunity to truly do everything you are able without your own inner chatter and conflict standing in the way.


  1. Muy buena pregunta ! pero hasta ahora no me siento en condición de responderla sin faltar a la responsabilidad y honestidad porque todavía no he hecho lo suficiente para decir : ! YA HICE LO SUFICIENTE! . Cambiar el mundo es una palabra muy trillada, muy gastada porque no es el mundo al que debemos cambiar sino cambiar cada UNO de nosotros ; porque somos cada UNO, los que estamos y continuamos haciéndonos dano unos a otros y eso es lo que dana al mundo.

  2. To change the world requires the emergent properties of collective strength to make positive good come about. Our power is not as individuals, though we require good leaders to gather and focus well being from which we can all benefit. Our power is that we rely upon each other to uplift and protect ourselves.

    Intoxicated driving laws in this country are generally not strict and enforced, which leads to senseless and preventable tragedies. I saw that you blogged on the outrageous case of Ethan Couch who killed four people and injured two but didn't have to serve a jail sentence. My husband was permanently and catastrophically injured in our front yard, and the judge recommended a two-month jail sentence, which was less time than my husband spent confined to a hospital bed. Only by sharing our story can we help effect meaningful change and spare others from living through this sort of tragedy. We need help from all Americans to underscore that change is desired and socially responsible. Please read our story at and share it if you feel moved to do so. Thank you, Jenny


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