The Doctrine of Enough

"Last time I'm ever staying here..."

The management writer/philosopher Charles Handy preached the concept of ‘enough’. The basic idea is simple. Once you have achieved a certain level of financial wealth, it stops being a motivator or adding additional value to your life. For sure, no one wants to be poor – but is there a limit to how rich you want to become? I always struggled a bit with this. Was it not a form of quitting? If you took the financial engine out of the car, what would propel it forward? A recent experience has helped me better understand the idea.

G Hotel: Last week I was working in Galway. It wasn’t even raining. Normally I stay in the Radisson but it was booked out so I had to find an alternative. There are worse things in the world than being forced to stay in the G hotel. The Philip Tracey designed bedroom was just slightly smaller than a basketball court. The staff were incredible (training actually works). The food was almost as good as home (you can’t be too careful with blogs; you never know who reads them!). Cost: €130 for B&B.

Caravan Site: The following night I stayed in Redcross, Co. Wicklow. It was a ‘music weekend’ with the lads. I shared a bedroom with a midwife (he’s a really nice guy and good in an emergency). The room was approaching the same square footage as an IKEA wardrobe laid on its’ side. There was zero in-house service and no hot water. In the brochure the place was described as basic – tempting fate under the Trade Descriptions Act. Cost: €25 (bring your own breakfast).

Now, here’s the big question. Did the quality of the accommodation make any material difference? Not a bit. In one night I’d moved from superior to slumming. But we had so much craic in Redcross, I hardly noticed the place. OK, you’ve twigged the logical flaw. A night in a business hotel – on your own – is not an apples vs. apples comparison with a night out with your mates. And there is the small matter of four pints of Heineken and twenty Beatles songs thrown into the mix. But still…

Grab Happiness: I know it’s an old line but worth recycling. Happiness is wanting what you have, rather than having what you want. Perhaps some of that Charles Handy wisdom is starting to filter through. In my case, it was a long time coming.

Paul Mooney

PS Happy Easter. Enjoy the time out. Eat loads of eggs – they’re good for you. And eat some chocolate too. Next blog in early May. Bet you can hardly wait.

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About Tandem Consulting

Paul Mooney holds a Ph.D. and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Industrial Sociology from Trinity College, along with a National Diploma in Industrial Relations (NCI). He has a post-Graduate Diploma and a Masters in Coaching from UCD. Paul, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is widely recognised as an expert on organisation and individual change. He began his working life as a butcher in Dublin before moving into production management. He subsequently held a number of human resource positions in Ireland and Asia - with General Electric and Sterling Drug. Between 2007 and 2010, Paul held the position of President, National College of Ireland. Paul is currently Managing Partner of Tandem Consulting, a team of senior OD and change specialists. He has run consulting assignments in 20+ countries and is the author of 12 books. Areas of expertise include: • Organisational Development/Change & conflict resolution • Leadership Development/Executive Coaching • Human Resource Management/employee engagement
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