Living life by your highest values is a high-stakes game where you can’t afford to hide, shrink, play safe, stay within the lines, or duck the big moves.
Yet what I find staggering is how many people — somewhere deep inside — are convinced they’re not cut out for a life beyond the ordinary. They question if they’re even good enough for the success they secretly crave, the respect they long for, or the love they seek.
Instead, they settle for “just enough.”
This “just enough” mentality becomes the silent script running in the background, setting the stage for a life of perpetual mediocrity.
They do just enough to convince themselves they are on track.
Just enough to pay the bills.
Just enough to prevent their relationship from falling apart.
Just enough to be healthy (a.k.a. not completely burn out).
Whilst this mentality might keep you afloat, it also breeds a dangerous comfort zone in which you end up strangling your potential to lead and thrive, and miss out on the magic, depth and infinite possibilities that life has to offer.
So, really, why on earth would anyone opt for the “just enough” way of life?
To understand this, we first need to walk back the cat and zero in on the two pivotal elements of our development — family dynamics and environment — which shape how we view ourselves, others and the world around us.
When we’re between ages 0–12, our core beliefs take root — it’s a time in our lives when our perceptions of self and our general view of the world form and crystallise.
Through all sorts of direct and indirect, subtle and not subtle feedback we form the beliefs about who we are, what we are capable of and what it means to be a good boy, girl, man, woman, husband, wife, father, or mother.
In other words, it shapes our identity, potential, societal roles, and our self-worth.
For example, if your parents did the ‘just enough” dance at work, you may have set your achievement ceiling — as if you’re scripting your life’s narrative based on a hand-me-down blueprint that caps your potential and possibilities.
Or, simply because you had no role model who showed how to conquer challenges.
Similarly, if you grow up in an environment where successful people were perceived as the enemy — you may unconsciously stay within the lines to prevent being judged by or rejected from ‘the tribe’.
And so on, and so forth.
Stretching beyond these mental confines can become an uphill battle.
These social-induced boundaries become the walls that keep us trapped in world of average — limiting our ambitions based on what we (falsely!) think we’re capable and deserving of.
So rather than (re)claiming our power and taking charge of our growth, direction and success in life, we conform to what we think we’re “supposed” to do.
Without even realising, we live by the same standards and norms, perhaps even feeling an underlying sense of loyalty — because rebelling against them might feel like betrayal.
After all, if your dad worked his fingers to the bone just to make ends meet and your mum sacrificed her own ambitions to put food on the table, aiming for more (or different!) can feel like overtaking your parents, or even be perceived as disrespectful by them.
Triggering our deepest fear… being left alone.
So just like dad, just like the neighbours, just like our peers, we do ‘just enough’ because that’s the sensible and safe thing to do.
And please, don’t get me wrong — I’m not trying to knock anyone’s profession or say that our parents and families are consciously teaching us to aim for mediocrity.
They did the best they could. Well, at least most of them did.
What I’m saying is that the standards and norms you’ve been living by may have shaped a distorted perception of who you are, what you are capable of, and what you’re worthy of receiving.
The worst part? You may have accepted them as your reality.
But let’s say your upbringing isn’t the culprit and your family did everything in their power to nurture your potential and dreams, and yet, you still find yourself in the “just enough” haze.
Chances are, you’re living your life on autopilot — with no Northstar to guide you towards your highest aims, potential, purpose and joy in life.
You don’t have a reason to choose the hard option when being “just enough” is as comfortable as it is.
You aren’t hungry enough.
So, ask yourself — What is the reason I get out of bed in the morning?
What am I willing to sacrifice myself for?
What is my deeper why?
If you don’t have an answer to these questions, it’s all too easy to slip into the zone of mediocrity — scraping by just enough to get through the day, rarely stopping to think about tomorrow, let alone a year or a decade down the line.
Why would you, when life is ”good enough”?
But this is exactly why you should.
Because people without a vision are like ships without a captain — they drift aimlessly, influenced by the tides and winds, but ultimately go nowhere.
They become reactive, not proactive.
And here lies the crux of the matter — when you drift without a clear vision, you’re not only directionless, but you’re also blinded to the lessons that are hidden in the inevitable challenges that arise on your path.
Yet without a guiding Northstar, people often fail to derive meaning from their experiences and setbacks, succumbing to them as a final defeat — complaining and projecting their frustrations onto others, thinking that “everything bad always happens to them”.
They are at the mercy of their circumstances rather than being the architect of their own destiny — and this is the mindset that keeps them shackled.
Shackled by the belief that life is happening to them, when the reality is that life is responding to them.
On the other hand, those who are able to see (and understand!) that the challenges they are faced with are just obstacles for them to overcome in order for them to develop the awareness and skill to guide themselves towards their Northstar.
Each challenged faced, every hill climbed, cultivates a deeper sense of confidence and hunger to do what’s expected from them.
But most importantly, with each step, they move further away from “just enough”.
Which can only become a possibility when you extract meaning from what’s happening.
Because without meaning, you will lack the hunger to overcome your challenges — basically telling yourself; “This is as good as it’s going to get,” without ever challenging the status quo.
And so every missed opportunity, every door unopened, each potential relationship not pursued — all become a creeping tally of ‘what-ifs’ that you carry with you every single day — which compounds at a terrifying rate over time.
Ten years down the line, you’re not just missing out on a job opportunity or a loving relationship — you’ve missed out on a decade of what could have been a life lived to its fullest potential, friendships never formed, love never found, and financial freedom never achieved.
And so, the pattern repeats itself.
Your actions become standards and norms you pass on to your kids, your community, your partner and everyone who looks up to you.
If you settle for “just enough”, you’re not just making a personal choice, you’re passing down a narrative — a story of what life can and should be.
Given all this, you find yourself at the crossroads between “just enough” and a fully-lived life.
We’ve walked through the complexities, the patterns, and the pitfalls that keep us boxed in. And now, I’ll leave you with this:
Why settle for a life where you’re merely existing when you could be fully living?
Not just for you but for everyone around you — your partner, your kids, and your community. When you free yourself from the chains of ‘just enough,’ you set a precedent that challenges others to do the same.
You become the embodiment of possibility, a living testament that yes, it is possible to break free, to have more, be more, and to do more.
No more missed opportunities. No more what-ifs.
Just a life where every day is a chance to express your potential, gifts, wisdom, leadership, creativity, strength, and compassion. The version that doesn’t just dream but does, the version that doesn’t just succumb but conquers, the version that turns obstacles into stepping stones on the path to something greater.
So, I’m going to leave you with a rather bold question:
If not now, when? If not you, who?
Time doesn’t wait, and neither should you.
If you feel ready for more than “just enough” and you feel that it’s time to break free from the blindspots, barriers and limitations that are sabotaging your growth, direction and success, and want to join a small group of brave individuals who dare to LEAD…
I hope to connect with you soon.