The Abundance of Knowing We Have Enough


I recently started reflecting upon a very short story that my Grandfather Francis Schellinger read long ago in a newspaper and has shared with me.  I have asked him to repeat it to many times over the years because I find it fascinating.  The story goes something like this:

Steve and Wally are sitting waiting for the bus.  Steve says to Wally, “I’m richer than Harrison.”

Wally stares at Steve in utter disbelief and finally declares, “But that is impossible!  Harrison owns three houses and is a MILLIONAIRE many times over.”

Steve pauses for a minute, smiles at Wally and says confidently, “But I know I have enough and Harrison does not.”

This bit of conversation moves me every time I think about it because of Wally’s insight into life.  Wally realized he could declare that he had enough money, just like he could say when he was full from eating dinner.

On the other hand, even though Harrison had assets a thousand times in excess of Wally’s bank account, Harrison never gave himself the gift of declaring that he had enough money.  Instead, he was always fretting about finances and probably spending nights tossing and turning as he worried over how he would make his next million.

Harrison’s amazing financial abundance did not afford him Wally’s peace of mind and joy.

For my grandfather, realizing that he had enough changed everything for him and his family.  Grandpa Francis was a contractor and retired from that stressful career when he was fifty.  He moved with his family from the city to the country.  Grandpa then was free to spend his time loving his wife, kids and grand kids.  He also gardened extensively and became an expert craftsman, making countless beautiful objects out of wood.

Recognizing that he had enough, Grandpa gave himself the freedom to live a life he was passionate about.  Sure, grandpa could have made a great deal more money if he worked until he was seventy.   But he chose a path that he found far more rewarding.  A few weeks ago, I had the honor of visiting my grandfather in Minnesota.  Now at age eighty-eight, grandpa told me he was so grateful that he retired when he did.

Was my grandpa extremely fortunate to have made enough money to retire at age fifty?  Of course he was.   But more importantly, he had the wisdom to declare that he had enough at age fifty and then use his resources to live exactly the life he wanted.

There will always be more money we could make, more hours we could work, more stuff we could buy and on and on.

Realizing we have enough is an extraordinary result that has the potential of transforming our lives.

Game of the Day

  1. How will you know when you have enough?
  2. How would recognizing that you have enough change how you live your life?


Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, go to


18 responses

  1. Dear Jason,
    Thank you for your beautiful message, it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today! And I have been following your journey on Facebook and here on your new website, and you, my dear friend, are an incredible inspiration! Please keep shining your light, as it helps us all to remember that we ARE the light of the world.

    Angie Kosirog

  2. Hi Jason ~
    I loved the piece on abundance. It was good to hear you retell the story that
    Grandpa said to you so long ago. It was also great spending time with you in Sioux Falls. I believe it was your interest in my visit that made the difference to me.And I had a fabulous time…….remember……. WWJD?
    Love and blessings,
    Aunt Ann

    • Hi Aunt Ann,

      It was a pleasure and an honor to retell the profound story that grandpa first told me long ago.

      I was so glad to see you in July. Thank so much for deciding to make the trip.

      With much appreciation and love,

  3. I think this is a great story! It reminds me of one of my favorite sayings, which Mary Poppins told to Jane and Michael Banks: “Enough is as good as a feast”.

  4. Very profound insights Jason. Thanks for sharing this very inspiring story. Your new website is awesome! Congratulations.

  5. Hey Jason,
    Good to hear from you again! Sounds like you are living in the bounty of each moment!
    This was a most inspirational story. My belief and faith resides in knowing that if I continue to move forward where Christ leads and needs me most, then I will always have enough to go around:)
    Thanks for sharing.
    Be good,
    Laura Harris

  6. Hi Jason, wonderful insightful story. This is my first ever blog- Thanks for the invite. Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks!! Woohoo!!!

  7. Thanks, Jason. Having met your grandpa years ago, I can surely believe he would tell a story like that. Wonderful, talented guy—just like his grandson!

    –your cousin (Mom was Helen Freeman)

  8. Hi, Jason,

    Your new website and blog are wonderful! I loved reading your blog entries. Thanks for sharing your light, your words and your joy so generously with the world.

    I’m grateful we met at the writing conference at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion two years ago. YOU have been a gift in my life.

    Warm wishes,

  9. Hi Jason,

    Cheri Ortman forwarded me your blog information. Mom and I will enjoy this for sure. Thank you for sharing your inspiring thoughts!

    Pat Riddle and Ethel Riddle

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