Lack of Personal Threshold: The Fountainhead of Your Unending Dissatisfaction and Stress

3 min


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They say the sky is the limit. That is absurd and a recipe for disaster.

Over the years, I’ve seen friends and family buy into this conception, literally—believing and pushing themselves to extreme levels, all because they have not reached the limit, the societal sky, yet.

Why should the sky be the limit for everyone?

Of course, the prudent interpretation of this, albeit, not widely adopted—is that you have to set your limit/threshold in life and make that your own sky.

I wish we do not have to work towards a goal or an ultimate in life–as this leads to many of us failing to enjoy the journey. We are fixated on the outcome or the ultimate, such that the process is never really enjoyed. But then, we are human beings, obsessed with outcomes so we will always have targets or goals.

A personal threshold is the limit and not the sky

However, these targets and goals should not be set in a blanket manner. We have to individually set our goals and limits, and it should be within a certain threshold—personal to our fulfillment and capacity.

If Elon Reeve Musk’s sky/goal in life is to take human beings to Mars or to exceed all the richest people in the world to become the number one, and this is fairly set within his capabilities, then this is his sky. This does not mean that John Brokeman, unable to afford 3 decent meals a day in Nigeria should have the same goal or make the same sky his limit.

It sounds silly but that is how life is lived by many of us.

A friend of mine, a UK trained Material Scientist, (a Ph.D. holder) has since the last year relocated from the UK to Ghana to teach at one of the universities and his life is an embodiment of this concept—that everyone should have their own individual threshold in life, set by themselves.

He argues that he has set his own life threshold (to achieve a certain level of education which he has obtained and to also achieve a certain level of income). Therefore, even though he was earning so much more in the UK compared to Ghana, his current income in Ghana is able to sustain his “threshold” life, and therefore earning more is not part of his problems. He’s content because he set his own life threshold and he is living within its borders.

In fact, a lot of the unending stress and dissatisfaction that have engulfed our lives is caused by the lack of robust personal thresholds. If your threshold is to be able to own one house, it wouldn’t matter if someone has 200 houses—in fact, you would have achieved your highest goal, deriving the maximum satisfaction from this. This way, if we are to measure the level of contentment between you that own 1 house and the other that owns 100 houses on this alone, it should be equal.

We shouldn’t all want the same things. In fact, we are unique and therefore our wants should reflect our individual paths and our thresholds should be set by us, not the market or society. And it has to be reasonable too.

Painfully, a lot of us are living by the fluid thresholds of society or the market which keeps shifting, the closer you get to achieving it. As such, we are on a perpetual rat race—almost always stressed.

The sky can be your limit but what sky are we talking about here?

You can choose a sky set by you after a careful examination of your life, your strength, your resources, and your true needs/wants—or an imaginary sky that society keeps pushing up the closer you get so to keep you dissatisfied and always woefully engaged. I hope you choose the former.

The truth is, a smart person sets realistic thresholds in his or her life and conveniently works towards it. Those who lack personal thresholds are never satisfied and do not even stop to enjoy their achievements—because there is never an achievement. The real goal, set by society or the market, keeps moving forward and these people are constantly chasing “something.”

If you want to explore the idea of a personal threshold in life to calm your existence and to fetch the true contentment or happiness you desire, various elements associated with MINIMALISM can swiftly drive you to this even if you don’t fancy embracing the whole concept of minimalism.

To be frank, the journey to whatever sky you set should be enjoyed and should matter much as the sky.


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Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri, Esq
I am Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri, a Lawyer, a Thinker, a Minimalist, a Writer, and something like a Legal Polymath based in the United Kingdom.