Life is all about balance; it is true that anything in excess has the potential to become detrimental. Aristotle may have described it best over 2000 years ago as the “Golden mean” or the desirable mix between too extremes. This holds true for things we think of or classify as good, for example courage or love, excessive love becomes obsession and an over abundance of courage becomes recklessness. Many philosophies, especially in ancient times, adhered to what Confucius dubbed “The Doctrine of the Mean” or what Buddha called “The Middle Way”. There is good reason for this as the road down the middle is often, if not always, the most correct path to travel.
Many of us are passionate, driven, and dedicated. We describe ourselves as “Machines” or “Monsters” in our field and it is meant to be a good thing. But is it? Working around the clock seven days a week is not good, no matter what anyone says, eventually, no matter who you are, you will get burnt out. This is not to say that working hard is a bad thing but you don’t want to choose hard work over quality of life. It’s about finding the balance. At the same time laziness, lethargy and contentedness are also not ok. We should never do just enough to get by, or make it a point in our day to do the bare minimum. A new way of thinking is an emphasis on personal time, which is fine as long as the balance remains.
This is because when you lean too much to either side you have a hard time seeing that middle road and an even harder time seeing the opposite end of the spectrum. Without an open mind or a flexible point of view you will never be able to change or grow and without growth there is stagnation and stagnation leads to failure because you allow others to surpass you though innovation and their own growth. Aside from blinding you too other perspectives excess can also be physically and mentally harmful. Imagine the man who is so brave as to be cocky and reckless, this man may have an inflated view of his abilities and put himself in a dangerous situation that he is unable to manage. Imagine the husband who loves too much, who is constantly obsessing and smothering, he begins to become jealous and invasive and eventually drives his partner away. These are just two examples of positive feelings or attributes gone awry.
Weather you choose to call it The Golden Mean or The Middle Way the road too success, enlightenment and happiness is the path of balance. When one leans to far to the right or the left he becomes unable to see the world in any other way, and we live in a world that is constantly changing and evolving. In order to achieve success in anything one must be able to adapt and to grow. In addition it is important to realize that most things, even things we thing of as positives, when taken to the extreme become twisted ugly parodies of what we previously viewed as glorious aspects of those we know or of our own selves.
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by Jarrad Kulick