Moderation is a word that get a bad rap these days. Overindulgence is heavily flaunted in the media and also on social sites. It looks like so much fun to go all out on everything in life that extreme behaviors have become the new normal. Almost no one even thinks they are abnormal anymore.
But doesn’t it get tiring trying to carry EVERYTHING to the extreme?!?
There is another way.
The word “moderation” might not sound exciting or glamorous, but it will carry you a long way in life. Engaging in some behavior, but not TOO much – works in many areas of our lives: eating, sleeping, exercising, etc.
It also works with possessions. Every person needs SOME stuff, but TOO MUCH stuff becomes overwhelming. (Hoarders is a show that both fascinates and scares me.)
But I have found the principle of moderation to work in (almost) every facet of life. Spending versus saving money, following your passion versus earning a high income, and hours working versus hours relaxing – more great examples. You must practice moderation in each of these categories lest you become too extreme in one area or the other.
I’m sure everyone reading this can come up with multiple more examples. The point is this: it is so easy to go along with everyone else around you. For example, you work too much because everyone else does, and also you feel it is expected of you.
Or maybe you spend too much or overextend your credit because you want your children to have the same vacation or Christmas as all their friends.
Stop and take a breath.
We have more control over our lives than we sometimes realize. When you decide to live intentionally you exercise your right be who you really want to be. You don’t really have to live your life in extreme debt, extreme stress, or extreme tiredness.
Decide to mindfully practice moderation in all (or most) aspects of your life and it will simplify your decisions – both big and small.
Your Christmas decorations don’t have to be bigger and better than everyone else on your block. Remember, moderation. Put up the decorations that make you happy instead. Then stop.
You don’t have to coordinate every office party at work. Decide to do one each year and delegate the rest with a sign up sheet. It is even possible to do too much for others. See The Benefits of Serving Others.
There are literally hundreds of ways most people can make their lives better with moderation. Along with the principle of moderation comes the ability to say “no”. Sometimes that means saying it to yourself. Sometimes it means saying to others.
Try mindfully using moderation for just one week and watch what happens. You won’t be disappointed.