Friday, July 25, 2008

Too Much of a Good Thing?

I think it's a common mistake. If you find yourself enjoying a new dish, a drink, a friend or experience it's only human to think, "I'd like some more of that!" If a little bit is good, won't more be better?

Not necessarily.

If you double your portion of a scrumptious ice cream sundae, you're likely to get a stomach-ache. If you order a few more drinks, you'll probably end up with a hangover. Are you having fun on that roller-coaster? You probably won't be if you ride it too many more times. And even the best friendships can go sour if you spend too much time together.

And yet the urge is always there. Whenever we stimulate the pleasure-centers in our brain we get a rush of good feelings - just like a "high" - but when it wears any addict, we want more!

But this world demands balance. Food doesn't taste half so good if you aren't truly hungry. Play isn't half so fun unless you've worked hard first. Like so much else, it's all about discipline and faith. The discipline to put off gratification and the faith that the "good part" will still be there even if you have to wait for it.

I'm beginning to understand this in a real way, which is making it easier for me to set up my future. Suddenly work, and planning, and organization and the daily grind isn't something to be feared or dreaded - suddenly it feels like putting money in the bank. I know that all of it is going to pay dividends someday - and the harder I strive now, the better that future fun is going to be.

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