How to Cure the Disease of Scarcity - Chris McCombs
Chris McCombs
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How to Cure the Disease of Scarcity

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MORE. MORE. MORE.

Our culture and media are causing people to walk around not only in a constant state of fear, but also thinking that we need More, More, More.

We wake up thinking about how we didn’t get enough sleep. Mentally, we’re already in the Land of Not Enough.

We start the day and we’re not even at zero yet—we’re already at a negative. We feel we’re behind and we haven’t even gotten out of bed yet.

We go through our day feeling we don’t have enough time, money, or stuff and that, somehow, WE are not enough. So we hurry through our day chasing things that we think will make our lives more complete.

We go to bed at night feeling that we didn’t get enough done today.

One more self-help course, one more diet, one more lover, one more sale, one more million in the bank…and we think that somehow we will be complete.

More attention, more sex, more fucking Facebook likes…that somehow getting more will make us something greater than we already are.

If our pasts have taught us anything, it’s that nothing is ever enough.

We are all suffering from the disease of scarcity.

Now, unlike what we’re taught to believe, the cure for scarcity is not abundance. The cure has nothing to do with more. Nor is it 28-hour days, 8-day weeks, big houses full of stuff, or the law of attraction.

It’s not affirmations, visualizations, making more money, or spending more of what we don’t have.

It’s the simple knowing that we have everything we need, right here, right now.

Quite simply, we have enough.

There is nothing we can add to our bank accounts, our bodies, our workdays, our inventory of possessions, or ourselves that is gonna satiate our need for more. When we try to fix the need for more with more, we just end up wanting even more.

People with $5 and people with $5,000,000 both feel that they don’t have enough and that they somehow need more to make themselves more whole and their lives more complete.

Bullshit.

You can never get enough, because you already have enough.

Our society, the media, and our minds are all driven by the need for more.

This need causes unfathomable amounts of greed, jealousy, resentment, anger, fear, and an overall resistance to life.

We end up cheating ourselves out of our lives as we sacrifice the only thing there is, right here, right now, in the pursuit of more. And the fact is, there are people far happier who have far less. And that getting food, water, and shelter are not daily stressors for most of us.

The only things we need more of are more love for each other, more acceptance of ourselves and of what is, more gratitude, and more knowing that we already have everything we need.

We have enough.

There’s nothing more we can do or obtain to make ourselves more whole.

Sure, work hard for what you want to have fun on this ride of life, and go for it full speed ahead—but don’t lose the only thing there is in the pursuit of more. Make a ton of money if you want, but don’t trade your whole life for it.

Don’t become so focused on the end that you don’t give 110% of yourself to the step you’re taking right now.

Don’t trade your life for some ideal of what “should” be, and miss all the cool shit along the way.

Everything we need is right here, right now.

Don’t sacrifice the only thing there is for the pursuit of something you can never attain, because you already have it.

You have enough. Know it with every cell of your being right down to your core.

Talk soon,

Big Chris

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54 comments
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Shaun Brant says April 18, 2013

This post would make Buddha proud. We really do live in a world that is so completely materialistic it has become a barrier to living life to the fullest. Rarely do we hear anyone promoting less materialism and contentment with what we already have. There is a difference between things we need and thneeds or things we think we need, but in truth we really don’t. When we get inundated with things we think we need it takes us away from appreciating the important things we have already such as family, friends, health food on the table etc. Thank you for sharing this valuable lesson.

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 18, 2013

    right on shaun, yeah man, I’m all for having big dreams and going after them gung ho … just gotta be careful not to get lost in the pursuit and forget about what’s truly important

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Veronica says April 18, 2013

You are so right! this is a great post just like all others… Those Kardashian chicks need to read your posts

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 18, 2013

    ha ha, I heard they’re big fans (=

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Justin says April 18, 2013

Great insight Chris.

Since when did looking for more become the solution for having too much stress?

I love the statement that ‘we are enough’. As long as you have food and shelter, you have enough. Since we are born with nothing and we leave with nothing all else is just a nice bonus.

People think that they want to be, do and have things – be a top professional, do things like travelling, or have things like money and cars and this will make them happy – because the media make it look that way.

But in reality all we can ever want or have is a feeling – the feeling that whatever you want to be, do or have will give you.

And the best part is that when we look internally, as you say, and meditate on what we are grateful for, we can condition our minds to feel any feeling within a matter of days (which is a lot quicker and easier than losing the weight, or earning that money, or finding that partner)

Get out of your mind, and into your soul…

Thanks for sharing your work (art) Chris,

Always a pleasure

Justin

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Chris McCombs
Chris McCombs says April 18, 2013

yes, love it

yeah man, we came in with nothing and are going out with nothing, like you said

I’m all for lofty pursuits, but we gotta look at our motivation, our reason WHY we’re going after something, and then stay as present as possible each step of the way

this quote comes to mind:

“Life is short. I’m 47 years old. I’ve got 10 years to go where I can be the best I can be. I want those 10 years to be precious, not like before, cranking two or three movies a year. I’ve made a ton of movies in my life, but so what?”

Jean Claude Van Damme

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Brandon Breshears says April 18, 2013

Love it chris, I’ve just recently come to this realization that is not more things that I’m needing. I’ve been converting the things I want like a new car into how many hours I have to work each month and say to myself is it worth being away from my wife or daughter for x hours per month to have this thing? And it isn’t. Its about relationships and experiences.

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 18, 2013

    Brandon that is a great way to look at it, thanks for sharing man

    Yes, relationships and experiences

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Doc Neal says April 19, 2013

10 years ago I lived in a 1500 square foot house…cost me $89K. Had to rent a storage unit cuz I had so much stuff and needed more room.

So I moved to a 6,000 square foot house….cost me $1.2 million. Just recently had to rent a second storage unit. WTF

You’re right. Enough is enough.

Sad thing is, I long for those days in the 1500 sqft. house.

I drank the Kool-Aid…and it was bitter.

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 19, 2013

    ha ha, I drank that fucking cool too man

    I have nothing against nice stuff, but it damn sure can take over our thoughts and time

    When I made a ton and had a ton, I just wanted more

    A better man than me might have been happy with it, I wasn’t

    learned some big lessons in all that (=

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Tim Bell says April 19, 2013

Thanks Chris, that post was so right on, and so, so true…

When it comes right down to it the things that are most important in life, the things that make us happy, the things that sustain us and give our lives meaning and purpose can’t be bought at Walmart or Best Buy, they are all around us, we just need to open our eyes and look around… And the cool part, most of them are FREE.

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 19, 2013

    So true Tim, they don’t cost a dime

    here’s a great movie along those lines: http://www.thehappymovie.com/

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      Tim Bell says April 19, 2013

      Thanks Chris… Awesome movie 🙂

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Adrian "Daisy" Day says April 19, 2013

George Carlin does a fantastic big of work in a stand up gig when he talks about “stuff”. We need to reign in our spending, and spend more time with those that love us for who we are..

Well written big dog. Respect.

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Jerry says April 19, 2013

You always do good work, Chris, I was going to share on FB, but just the language man. 🙂 I have too many old school Christian friends who probably don’t look at that stuff the way I do. You got a whole lot o’ God man, you should polish that and make it shine. 😉 just my 2 cents. Keep on keepin’ on.

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 19, 2013

    Thanks Jerry, appreciate the kind words and imput

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    craig says March 9, 2014

    Hey Jerry-It’s too bad some people get hung up on the words and miss the meaning. There’s enough people polishing their shtick and preachin’ to choir. Chris is much more valuable to the black sheep that do not follow by staying in his raw form. Maybe try showing your Christian friends that there a lot of people this guy is reaching that may not speak the same or have the same beliefs but are still trying to make this world a better place? Personally, I think that would be better adjustment of procedure in this world.

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June says April 19, 2013

Love your blogs Big Chris!!! Always inspiring. Every time I read your blog I read it back to my wife. Pure Awesomeness Bro keep them coming!!!

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Chris McCombs
Chris McCombs says April 19, 2013

Hey super cool of you June, it’s a honor that you would share it with family like that (=

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Lelo Lukhele says April 19, 2013

Chris your blogs and insights are amazing…
You are my family and studio’s Budha. We implement pretty all of your fitness tips and insights and they work amazingly great. You are a greatly teacher, mentor and coach..
Actually came to your blog for inspiration for marketing our dance and fitness studio but i found this powerfulblog as well. Thank you Chris

all way from swaziland- southern africa. We appreciate your words and insights

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 19, 2013

    Hey thanks Lelo, South Africa man, so cool this stuff is reaching you all the other way on the other side of the planet

    Good luck with you dance and fitness studio, you’re are blessed to be doing something for a living where you are able to have a profound impact on people’s lives in such a positive way

    thanks again Lelo

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Adrian says April 19, 2013

Hi Chris, I have to share this. My Gran passed away a couple of days ago aged 98 and throughout her entire very long and happy life she wanted nothing, asked for nothing and expected nothing. She was happy so long as she could watch those she loved enjoy there lives and grow. If she ever heard anyone say “I want” she would reply “want will bury you sooner rather than later” Maybe that’s the key to longevity, Never wanting anything. At her funeral her life will be celebrated, not mourned.

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 19, 2013

    Adrian, thanks for sharing man. 98 year old people have SOOOO much wisdom.

    And this is awesome:

    If she ever heard anyone say “I want” she would reply “want will bury you sooner rather than later”

    Sorry for your loss man, sounds she lived one helluva life though

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Darren says April 19, 2013

We’re already complete and perfect – nothing to add and nothing to take away. We have to work to remember when swimming against the tide of material distractions, manufactured expectations and voices that tell us we’re not good enough as we are.

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 19, 2013

    YES YES YES

    very well said Darren

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Randal says April 19, 2013

Another kick ass post Chris and very much in line with the minimalist life that I’m trying to live. I have found that the less I have, the less I need.

The last 20 years or so, my work has taken me to various places around the globe and a lot of my work has been in Africa. I have spent a fair amount of time in Nigeria and, while not the poorest country in the world, they have little compared to what Americans have. There are no “safety nets” if you don’t have a job or get sick. A lot of Nigerians are living a very basic life but are surviving.

Someone once asked me about why a lot of Africans are poor and I responded that “they didn’t know they were poor until we showed up and told them they were poor”. What I meant by that was that in the small villages and their tribes, life was what it was. Work hard, spend a lot of time with your family, play with whatever you had to play with. You lived, you died and they were likely pretty satisfied with that because they knew nothing different.

Then one day the Westerners showed up and basically told them that “your poor because you don’t have Levis and Coke and big assed TVs”. They satellite TVs came in and they might gather around the one TV in their village and see images (commercials) from the US showing happy Americans that were happy because of the stuff they had. Suddenly they started thinking of themselves as poor, what they had wasn’t good enough.

It would be like if aliens landed tomorrow, looked at the normal American household and family and said “man, you people are poorer than shit! Everyone on our planet lives to be 300 years old, works 2 hours a day and fucks and sleeps the rest of the time!”. Suddenly our life, which has been pretty good up to that point, would be pretty shitty and we would start to consider ourselves poor.

When you realize how our taste, desires and consumerism has been manipulated by the big corporations, you realize where you dissatisfaction comes from. Reading books like “The Story Of Stuff” is a pretty interesting read on how, back in the 50s or so, industry realized that we were not buying enough because stuff back then was built to last. A blender from back then might last 10 years or longer because it was so well made. But for the company that meant they were only going to sell one blender to a family every 10, or more, years so then came planned obsolescence. Make the blender so it only last 3 years and you sell 3 times more blenders.

Now it is perceived obsolescence. The cell phone that worked perfectly fine last month is no longer good enough because the ICrap 5.0 is out. Our ICrap 4.0 is now a piece of shit (in the consumers mind) and they will rush to the store, stand in line and take money that they have worked their asses off on to buy the new phone.

To the fashion industry, there are 26 different seasons in a year. Perceived obsolescence. That shirt, those pants, that dress are suddenly out of fashion.

It was obvious to me when I was living and working in the US but once you leave the borders of the US and look from the outside in, you get a better picture of what has been done the American’s perception of what is “good life”.

Sorry for the long response but this is a subject that I have written about in the past and pisses me off when I see how the corporations have manipulated the consumers in the US and how the consumers have allowed themselves to be manipulated.

Randal

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 19, 2013

    Holy shit Randal, that’s one helluva comment and could be a blog post all by itself

    You even made me look up “obsolescence” in the online dictionary

    I may repost this on Facebook , giving you credit obviously

    thanks brother for taking the time to write this

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Squall says April 19, 2013

Good post. Very Tao, I thought.

I’ve actually done this experiment twice in my life now, (once on purpose, the second time just cause that’s what life had in-store) where literally everything I own is removed. I can tell you that while all that stuff is great to have, what I absolutely missed was a bed, and the internet. I kept the phone so that’s probably three. Everything else was just extra, but as long as you have a bed a phone and the internet, you can accomplish mostly anything in the modern world.

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Chris McCombs
Chris McCombs says April 19, 2013

Squall, I’m with you brother

I always thought this right here was pretty awesome as a way to minimize like a mother fucker: http://www.theminimalists.com/21days/

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anika says April 20, 2013

I want to share a true story: I lived in Antigua for about a yr in the late 90’s. I had a neighbor, a very small framed lady who was very kind to me. Well, she died and of course I went to pay my respects. As i was sitting there in the pew, her casket looked a bit strange because although she was a small framed person, about 103 lbs. she was lying so high in the casket, i was wondering if they would be able to even close it. And when the 8 pall bearers struggled to lift the casket up and march it down the road to the gravesite. No Hearse on the Island. I quietly ask the person next to me why the casket looked so heavy and he replied ” her husband put all of her posessions in the casket and is buring them with her. Now just think how heavy our caskets would be if all of our possessions went with us in there!!!

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 20, 2013

    holy shit, yeah, they would be soooo heavy, thanks for sharing anika

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MrsB says April 20, 2013

Moved to Japan 9 years ago, was only permitted to take 4,000lbs – we owned 12,000 – and live in 1,000 sq ft – we moved out of 2,700. We got used to living small and simple for those 7 years. Coming back to the US was shocking, and I am American as can be. The gluttony, the over-buying, the way we throw things away, the in your face ads so expertly crafted by pros to lull purveyors into a sense of incompleteness without their ‘thing’, the overweight, the overstuffed, the huge big everything – cars, people, houses, spoiled rotten kids, the sheer lack of simply enjoying people and the outdoors, the lack of peace and contentment and calm. It’s sad.

We love living small now – our mantra is “small and simple” – but it is hard to resist the temptation to have stuff here. Really hard. I can see how we Americans are over stuffed and under-contented. We’re weak-willed and the rhetoric to have more is everywhere.

Everyone here needs to live on 1/4 and shut off their TV and magazines and they’ll realize that they truly do have all they need.

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Chris McCombs
Chris McCombs says April 20, 2013

Word

thanks for sharing this MrsB

“small and simple”

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marino c. fernandez says April 21, 2013

Wow Chris, I just found your blog the other day and I subscribed. Love your work bro keep it up and love this sentence.
The only things we need more of are more love for each other, more acceptance of ourselves and of what is, more gratitude and more knowing that we already have everything we need.
I would share your blog on facebook and twitter but I avoid that shit.

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 21, 2013

    Right on Marino, glad you enjoyed it man

    Yeah lotta truth in that little sentence huh?

    It sure would make the world a lot better place, and it all starts with us

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Jeanne Rogers says April 21, 2013

Awesome …..finally everything I been seeing put in to words. Iam 61 years old and to me the world we are creating is crazy….until you get a illness that sets you back you realize everything you stated is true …..Marketing sucks telling us we need to have including what medicines we need ?…crazy

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says April 21, 2013

    Thanks jeanne – yeah weird it takes illness , crisis and loss to bring many of us to these realizations , but it does , and that’s often the gift

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Chris Banks says July 19, 2013

Thanks for the reminder that life is not about ‘having more’, it is about ‘being’ more. As always, i love reading your posts. Keep up the good work.

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says July 19, 2013

    thanks Chris

    I spent the better part of decade obsessed with more, ended up miserable

    had to lose a lot to learn what truly makes me happy

    turns out, a lot of people have this exact experience

    loss is such a great teacher

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John garrard says July 23, 2013

It’s as the Buddha tells us,only 3 fears , and we don’t have those so enjoy what can be a great life, I know it’s common since but the problem with common sense is it isn’t that common!

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    Chris McCombs
    Chris McCombs says July 26, 2013

    yes John, so common, we keep missing it (=

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jaiya figueras says March 9, 2014

Always reading and always learning from you man. Its never stopped since the day I met you. Thank you for reminding me to put the breaks on. And thank you for grinding, chewing, and spitting out the knowledge like you do.

🙂

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Brian says March 9, 2014

Thanks Chris. As usual, just what I needed.

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Michael Gallaher says March 9, 2014

The right here, right now is the path.
Your perspective of the start and end of the day, starting out and ending in the Negative is truly brilliant and a great mantra to develop. Most things in life fall under the heading of “Ya don’t know what ya don’t know”! Thanks so much for giving me that seed. I’m gonna plant it and see what grows.
It is our way especially in the developed world to try to convince others that:
Your stuff is shit and My shit is stuff – George Carlin!
Don’t know how to change other people’s attitudes, so I guess I’ll just change my own and maybe someone else might notice that I’m just a little less stressed, a little less angry and a little more happy. Maybe they’ll want some of what I’ve got? Its a hope anyway.
Less IS More. ‘Nuff said.

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Kelly McDonough says March 9, 2014

You can never be enough, because you already have enough. That’s exceptional because it made me realize not only do I already have enough, but the reason I don’t feel enough is because I’m already enough. I cannot fill up on any more enough – I am already enough. The cup is full and I am dissatisfied because I keep trying to be enough when I already am enough. I ask for permission to be able to share that with my friends, with a mention of your posts, of course.

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Steve the Black Nomad says March 9, 2014

always follow your blog Chris, this is a deep statement as well and I feel the world will be a better if we followed this policy.

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Marcus says March 10, 2014

Boom!

Talk about time well spent reading this article 🙂 Thanks buddy.

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Brohambious says March 10, 2014

You continue to shape my life Chris… and my wife’s, and my kid’s, and my friends… Thank you

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John says March 10, 2014

Thank you Chris. Perfect timing for this post. I fall into the trap of wanting more and more, when I already have everything I truely need. I need to focus on living each day, savoring the moment, with my family and friends. Thanks again.

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Ed says March 10, 2014

So true Chris. People chase, chase, chase, for what? Half the time they don’t know what they are chasing anyway. Trying to find something to remedy what they feel they are missing. I feel the need is to look inside instead of outside for self satisfaction. Thank you Chris!

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M Grace says March 10, 2014

Hi sooo I came upon your email through a friends email I manage who my husband who runs a successful fitness program and I am going to be honest… I said wow this guys sends a lot of email… I think we may need to unsubscribe and so I took a few minutes to read this post and I was like Oh My God this guy is in my head reading my thoughts! Great post really and now I am a fan! Really Real and exactly what I need to hear. I Have enough and I am enough – it was just nice to hear someone else tell me that. Thank you – really you made my weekend and changed my way of thinking, even if it is for a moment before I go back to fretting, it is a moment I will alway be grateful for. Right on Chris McCombs! I am looking around my home right now being so thankful for all that I have and realizing I actually have too much! Besos!

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Bill F says March 10, 2014

Thanks for this. Just what I needed today. Sometimes you get so focused on the climb that you don’t stop to look down the mountain and see how high you’ve gotten.

Today I came up just a hair short on a workout for a competition. If I could have just done one more pull-up, I’d have a way better score. But it wasn’t there. So, I’m disappointed. On the other hand, I keep reminding myself of what my coach says: “if you’re unhappy with your results, just drop by your local hospital and you’ll find plenty of people who will be glad to trade places with you.” I’m somewhat disappointed that I can only do 20 overhead squats and 19 pull-ups in 180 seconds. But I don’t know anyone else my age (mid-fifties) who could even do that much.

My doctor summarized it nicely a couple of months ago and said the only thing that really matters: “You are very fit. Keep doing what you’re doing.” Magical words.

In the meantime, I have a great story I can tell. And I’m going to kill that workout next year.

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Ciara says March 14, 2014

Hi Chris! Not only did I absolutely love and share this post the other day, but it actually inspired me so much, it catalysed me to mull over what you wrote and to write my very first article online! Thanks for truly awesome, honest writing that brings the focus back and wipes the dirt off the glasses of our perspective! Can’t wait to read more, and if you’re remotely curious, here’s the link to my first published words : )
Thanks again for your badass inspiration! http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/03/the-deep-roots-of-enoughness-ciara-kosior/

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