When is enough, enough?


It is amazing how difficult it is sometimes to move to the next chapter of your life or a project or a career. You get to a certain point and seem frozen wondering if you move forward or if there is more work to do. The question we ponder is, “When is enough, enough?” Let’s take a look at this today and try to provide some perspective with three examples:

1. We are at the end of the school year. And, for those of you with high school seniors in your family, this represents the end of childhood. It is time for your child to walk across that threshold to adulthood and independence. As parents, we wonder whether we have done enough or if there is still more work for us to do. I remember taking our son to his freshman year of college away from home. We drove the 3 hours to his university, unloaded the car, and said good-bye. The drive home for my wife and me was rather quiet. Finally, my wife commented, “You know, it has taken me 18 years to get good at my job as a mother and now, just like that, it’s over.” (Of course, she had a few more years with our daughters still at home, but this certainly was the beginning of that next chapter.) At times like this you wonder, have I done enough? Did I do my job well? What more could I have done? In the end, though, you have to let go and move on knowing that you still have more work to do, but in another way.

2. I have seen a real tendency in our own workplace for individuals to struggle to move forward in our work. There is always one more question to ask or one more data point to give you more confidence. Or, worse yet, there is that fear of being second-guessed, so you delay a decision or hope that someone else will make the decision. When is enough, enough? There is an old saying, “We’ve cut enough bait, now it is time to fish.” We simply cannot function in a fast-paced, pharmaceutical company when we believe every decision has to be without any risk. The best approach we can use is to determine how much risk exists, understand how much authority we have to make decisions, then move forward. If a decision is yours and others are depending upon you to make a decision, just do it!

3. On a personal note, I intend to retire at the end of the calendar year. When you get to a crossroads in your life, you probably ask yourself many of the same questions that have been going through my mind over the last several months. Have I done enough? Is there something I still need to do? Should I stay in that comfortable rut or take the jump and move forward? I think for me, and likely for us all, that you should get to the point when you can truly say that you’ve done enough… you’ve done your best… and it is time to move to that next chapter, whatever it is.

I guess the bottom line for today is this… It takes courage to move forward from that crossroads. You have to take that first step. And, we must all realize that a day will come when you’ve done enough and it is time to turn the page. Maybe, today is that day when you leave something behind and take that step forward that you know you need to take.

Have a most excellent day! There is a chance that this could be the day… our very best yet!

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