Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains.
You have probably heard about moderation a lot of times already but before you decide that this post will not bring any value into your life, STOP! Stop right here and read at least a couple of paragraphs. I promise that I will show you how you can change your life and even the world for the better after you finish this article.
Democritus (look at the top of the page) was a wise guy but can you really have too much of everything? The word “moderation” usually comes to mind when we are talking about food and obesity. It sounds like the lose-weight-in-a-healthy-way type of advice but it does not seem to be connected with other good things in our life. Can you have too much love that will bring pain into your life or can you have too much kindness? Can you have too much faith and can you be too health-conscious? It seems that moderation is not always needed, isn’t it?
I must agree with Democritus, without moderation the happy life is impossible.
It is difficult to stay moderate in the present world because we have such an abundance of pleasures and opportunities that are so easily accessible. We can eat exotic fruit from all over the world, we can buy a lot of toys for ourselves, we can travel anywhere we want to (well, almost anywhere), we can help people with a touch of a button (donating to charities online), we can pamper ourselves and we can afford so many other things.
We are constantly stimulated with new pleasures that bring happiness into our lives. But what happens when the “high” effect is gone? You need more stimulants to feel good and at a certain point simple pleasures that are available in everyday life do not work anymore.
You lose the ability to be happy just because you are healthy and you had a decent day at work.
A romantic supper at home with your loved one seems very boring compared to the delicious meal you’ve just had a restaurant the other day.
Your kids do not appreciate a family outing to the park because it is nothing compared to the water park and cinema you took them to last time.
The simple pleasures of life are lost not only for you but also for people around you, the ones who you want to protect and to whom you want to give the best in this world.
We have forgotten the values of moderation for our lives. It is so sad because moderation is the key to life, and not just any life but a happy and balanced life.
Here are 7 values of moderation that I find vital for balanced living.
- You can experience more joy and happiness. Imagine that you can eat a big piece of the most delicious cake in the world every day. You do not have to worry about getting fat or about your cholesterol levels shooting out of the roof. You can enjoy it every single day of your life.
Probably in about a week you will get tired of this cake and in a month it will be tasteless to you.
Now consider another scenario when you can eat the same piece of cake just once a month after a very difficult day at work. You’ve been working hard and you were thinking about this cake for the last few weeks and today IS the day when you can indulge in it. Isn’t it the tastiest piece of the cake you have ever had?
- You conserve the planet. My husband loves everything about the ocean and for the last few years I have been getting him documentary DVDs about ocean life every Christmas. I learned so much from those DVDs and I saw so many amazing things that even the most creative human mind cannot imagine. And this world is being destroyed because we are exploiting it in any possible way. Overfishing, oil spills, damage to the corrals caused by anchors and recreational divers, trash and garbage in the ocean, all these things destroy the world that we didn’t build and that we will never be able to rebuild. This is just one example how we are destroying our planet.
You do not have to become a vegetarian in order to save the animal life on our planet; you can just be moderate in how much you really need. You can be moderate when choosing a car that uses less gas. You can be moderate when celebrating your kids birthday (did you know that a lot of the balloons that we release in the air end up in the ocean or rivers where turtles and some other inhabitants confuse them for food and can die?)
- You will be healthy. If you exercise moderately you give your body a workout that will keep it healthy and young for many years. If you exercise too much you wear out your body and cause permanent damage (professional athletes are far from being the healthiest people on the planet).
Pretty much any food can be considered healthy if it is eaten in moderation (I am talking about “real” food here). If you eat red meat a couple of times a month then you do not have to worry about heart disease but if it is a part of your daily diet then you are in trouble.
If you are moderate you can enjoy the food you love and you can exercise as much as your body needs without creating any risks for your health.
- Moderation leads to financial stability and balance. There are several types of people that we all know that could be good examples here. Some of them probably like to spend money and this is the reason that they are in debt up to their ears. They have very exciting lives because they pretend that they can afford a lot and they have tons of amazing experiences. The only problem is that at a certain point those people start thinking only about paying off their credit card bills and they forget about all the cool stuff that has once brought them so much pleasure.
Another group is the penny-pinchers who save every dollar they earn. They might be very nice but their lives are so boring. They do not visit a lot of places and they do not know the joy of spending money.
Both of these groups are two financial extremes. With moderation they would be able to enjoy their lives without getting into financial trouble and they would be able to save money without becoming obsessed over it.
- Moderation gives clarity in life. Being moderate implies that you are present in every moment of your life and you can clearly distinguish between the necessities and unnecessary luxuries in life. Every moment you ask yourself “Do I really need this? Do I have enough in life? Will I be happy without this …?” You become mindful of your life and you learn to live in the present.
- Moderation leads to spirituality. You become spiritual when you start seeing “spirit” in everything around you: in every creature, in the wind slightly moving the leaves, in the ocean, in the smile of a stranger or your loved one, and in you. When you are moderate you stop concentrating on “the more, the better” principle and you are able to see this spirit in everything around you. You open your heart to the wonders of the world and you stop being a mindless consumer.
- Moderation brings your life in balance. To me this is the most important value of moderation. Our life consists of opposites and if you are not moderate then you are on a constant roller coaster ride. With moderation you can enjoy both parts of your life without huge sacrifices or sad consequences.
Life in moderation is a full life.
Moderation is not always easy but it is vital for balanced living. Moderation requires work and will power and it is a constant process of self growth. I am choosing this path because this is the right road for me. Is it for you?
Keep it balanced!