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Just Enough: Tools for Creating Success in Your Work and Life
-by Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson
John Wiley & Sons, 296 pages, $16.97

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Today’s professional is constantly challenged to make more with less – make more happen with less energy, make more money with less time. The business world puts a premium on success and Just Enough reexamines the nature of success to help people realign their personal and professional lives. According to Nash and Stevenson, “Real success is emotionally renewing, not anxiety provoking. By actively making choices and setting limits, you’ll be able to reach your goals, tally up more ‘wins’ and truly enjoy all the successes you achieve.”

The message here is balance – being able to channel the correct amount of energy toward a project. Managing your time really means managing yourself, and this task is not one that should be delegated. As long as you are living your life, you are the one in charge of making the key decisions. Since definitions of success differ from person to person, Nash and Stevenson group success into four irreducible components:

  • Happiness (feelings of pleasure or contentment about your life)
  • Achievement (accomplishments that compare favorably against similar goals others have strived for)
  • Significance (the sense that you've made a positive impact on people you care about)
  • Legacy (a way to establish your values or accomplishments to help others find future success)

Society values giving 110% and “going to the max,” but according to the authors, this approach can be draining. Calibrating one’s own version of "just enough" means properly prioritizing and paring down time dedicated exclusively to one area of your life. Just Enough develops an interesting tactic called the Kaleidoscope Strategy. It combines the four components above with the realms of life – self, work, family, and community. By using real life examples of the famous and the not so well known, it reinforces the Kaleidoscope effect of constantly moving through different realms without staying fixed on one.

Nash and Stevenson write “Since we have limited time and energy, we need to find a balance – something along the lines of less (in any one category) is more overall.” This book provides a blueprint for professionals to achieve maximum fulfillment without having it take a steep toll on their spirits. The real secret of success is having enduring success that doesn’t feel fleeting. Anyone who feels rushed, tired and ultimately unfulfilled will find Just Enough enlightening and exhilarating.

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