80% and Skewed Perspectives

via Net Worth Percentile Calculator – United States (and Average)

I was meditating on abundance and thriving and what it means to be “good enough” and have “enough” in order to have well-being.

And dang, the grading scale from elementary school keeps BITING ME! I find myself saying “sorry” for anything less than 94% where Grade A starts, right? (Yeah, sometimes in was 93% or 90% if the grading was “easy” – but 80% was NOT considered Good Enough!)

How does that skew our culture? How does that fuck with our sense of adequacy and efforts required?

Imagine a hunter 10,000 years ago who was so successful he had 3 tons of meat. Ignoring that that much meat would spoil unless tended to, that’s the equivalent of about $40,000 today.

We’ve gotten so skewed (screwed?) that at least I have lost track of what is means to have abundance. The drive for more, More, MORE, MOAR! is so pervasive that people assert that being on the 80%+ range of the graph above means you are thriving and anything below that is “just getting by.”

It’s true that at the 20% percentile Net Worth is only $1500 – about 250 pounds of meat. I put it in terms of food that is nutrient dense because, well, our ancestors knew that food resources mattered. Having something set aside for the dark winter was important. Indigenous tribes continue to stock meat for winter and there’s a big difference between having 250 pounds or less and having 3 tons or more (to share with Everyone!)

This isn’t actually about Net Worth. It’s also about how we calibrate around our tools, home, efforts. Is a tool that is 60-80% still useful and a contributor to thriving? I am asserting to my Being that it is.

This forum software is useful. As a solution it works. I’d say it is somewhere between 50-70% as a tool. The interaction I have here are really valuable to me. Overall, wherever it falls, it is NOT for me above 80% for me. And yet, adequate? Yes. Worth-while? Yes.

I’d say the same for Zoom. The recording quality is passable, 50-60%. But as a tool people are familiar with and have become more comfortable with, it’s a 70% solution for us as a community. Every month that 70% level solution gives us connection, space, value.

My elementary school teachers said 70% was almost failing. It actually… isn’t. While there are some other solutions that would be better, the cost goes up 10x, they are less familiar, and require more effort to maintain and deal with.

You can probably hear me talking myself into this. Yes, tap tap tap, I have resistance to being less than 100%. It contributes to me saying “Sorry” even to God a lot.

As I look at this “net worth” curve I’m seeing something quite different. There is a wide range – wider than I thought – which is normal, median, and where people are still living, laughing, and loving.

Yes, there are those who because of a variety of reasons and focuses might be playing in the 80%+ range of net worth. But I want to feel thriving without having to strain to “be worth” so much “more.”

You see, as I recalibrate I am noticing that the real movement in my thriving and that of my family is served by the sweet spot in the 60-80% range. A tool that is adequate light cost $60 whereas the fancy 88% solution might be $600. That’s a lot more time-life energy needed.

What if I didn’t rail against the 80% solution, the 80% effort, and use the life force “left over” from the not striving for the Elementary Grade A or A++ for other things that matter to me?