Moving to Moderation

HBR article “In Praise of Extreme Moderation” spoke to me this morning. This is an article that will resonate with every one of us regardless of where we fall; moderate or extreme. It calls out the new norm of practicing extremism in all that we do. It calls out the “new” need to do everything to a level of excess. Earning badges of courage and worthiness is where we find our value in today’s society. A society that reveres everyone as “something” whatever the label or title. A new world where competitiveness is a label that has become the norm and when lacking it speaks to ones drive, or lack thereof.

We are swept up in extremism so easily as companies push their products and services as only best consumed in excess. The tell us to:

  • Only write if you have an audience and are working on a bestseller.
  • Only run if you can get a PR every time and not only win a medal but rank.
  • Only eat what you are prescribed via a specific diet and track to prove you are doing it.
  • Post everything you do publicly as proof that you are doing what you say you are and therefore validating.

It is so easy to sucked into this way of living, or at least attempted living. It is maddening when we are in it and it is reckless when we are not.

The article brings us back to what is “enough”. When is enough enough. That is as personal a decision as it is public. It is when one-by-one we start removing the value assigned to extremes. It stops when we applaud those living in the middle and calm the accolades around those that are pushing the bar so far that reaching for it threatens everything you are if you don’t land on top.

The best way to conclude is to quote the author who sums it up perfectly.

But I have spent a lifetime honing my daily practice, worshipping at the altar of “good enough.” Today, I am neither superrich nor superfit nor supersuccessful. But I have just enough of each to qualify in my own personal marathon, the race for a balanced life. In the end, maybe this only really matters to me and my dog, who does get a lot of good walks out of it. To me, that’s enough. – Avivah Wittenberg-Cox

Live as I live it – L.

“Not good enough” keeps me pushing until “Enough is enough”

“Enough is never enough” is a statement I have repeated to myself many times in this life. The context for which it is used is paramount because it is important to note that I am not suggesting that I AM not good enough. It is about pushing to the next level.

There are few things I settle on as I can always find another inch to push harder. Yes, this can be exhausting but it is where character is created. This is also not to say that I am striving for perfection as that is not a standard I value.

Enough is suggesting there is nothing more. Very few things in life are exhausted including the human condition. We always have more to give; whether you have the motivation to do so or not is the difference. There are things we settle on not because it is enough but because we don’t value the additional mileage.

In my life there have been many places this theory has existed. Some examples include:

  • In my running I have not found enough. My goal was to finish a Half in less than two hours. I have not done that yet and it’s important to me so I continue to push. I hear people tell me all the time that it is “enough” however it is not, because after all I decide.
  • In my career I have pushed hardest than in any other effort in my life. There were so many FINISH LINES along the way that could have proven to be “enough” but it simply wasn’t at those times. As I look back at my career path I am so grateful I never settled. Fast forward to today it has taken some effort to “settle” down. I have reached the role I was striving for and now that I am here it would seem to be enough, but…

The reality is that it is about passion and what fires you up. What serves you is what “serves you” and decides where you put your time and energy. In the examples I offered both running and my career are what fires me up. They both serve me well on many levels. The love of this is that it does not have to have value to anyone else and the sacrifices I make are not yours to judge.

I would be remiss if I did not offer the concept of “enough is enough”. In my definition of the theory offered there is a place for “enough is enough”. It goes back to what serves you. When something no longer serves you it is time to call it enough. Some examples of that include:

  • I am a student at heart. It was my long-term goal to get my PhD one day however after achieving degrees in Hospitality and Leadership I came to realize that the additional investment to go further in “formal” education was not going to serve me. The reality is that despite my “want” the “expense” would be greater than the reward.
  • I have also learned the theory of “enough is enough” in my relationships. It is one of the harder things to come to terms with that there are relationships that you simply have to walk away from and say “enough”. When you are giving more than you are getting and it is not serving you well it is time to move on. I was thinking about this the other night and realizing that this theory continues to create stress for me as I try to “solve” for that which there is no solution. It is okay to be grateful for the time the relationship serves you as a memory and let it settle there.

In today’s world I decide what is “not good enough” and when “enough is enough” in my life. That is not to say that I don’t hear those messages offered to me from those that know me best about what they believe is enough for me. While I value those opinion I will continue to value my choice to decide what is “good enough” and ultimately when “enough is enough”.

Life as I see it and I decide is enough – L.


What a great word, so many meanings simply based on the way you say it.

  • said Lovingly…”I am enough” something many of us need to say daily
  • said Impatiently…”Enough already!” will shut it down in a minute
  • said Desperately…”Enough…” begging for it to stop

What a valuable word… Do you have enough? Am I enough? Have you had enough? When will it be enough?

…but what is “enough” to have and to be?

The answer to that question is up to you. You decide when enough is enough. You decide when you have had enough. And yes, ultimately YOU decide that you are enough; no one can take that value from you.

The funny thing about each of the questions is the irony of it all…

  • You realize you have had enough when you are typically overwhelmed with whatever IT Is…emotion, food, stuff.
  • You realize you ARE enough when you put the work in creating your self-worth and value.
  • You realize when it is enough when you reach a state that you have previously become familiar with as a baseline or ceiling.

The reality of this word in my world has played out as follows…

Professionally – being in Sales and Revenue, who is to say when enough is enough. When you hit last year’s numbers, when you hit budget, when you surpass your best year? In my world enough is never enough so as the leader I make sure that those that I lead know where the ceiling is in every case. We call it the “50 Things”. It is not literally 50 things but the theory is that when you know you have done all you can do (which should be enough) then “call it”. More is not always better.

Personally – as you are growing your home and family you find yourself accumulating things. Husbands, kids, furniture…ha-ha…just kidding about the kids..uh I mean husbands..ha! Anyway my point is that I find it ironic that in my 40’s the only thing I want to do is get rid of all of these things..husbands, kids, furniture! Ha! (Kieling myself tonight!) Point, yes I am getting to the point. You accumulate thinking you don’t have enough, you collect more and more and more until you realize you have too much. And then enough is too much…and we “downsize”. All of my 20-something followers, save yourself the trouble of downsizing and simply don’t supersize!

The Truth – the real deal when it comes to enough is that I have never been a good judge of when enough is enough in my own efforts. I see things in extremes and am very black and white, I have been searching for the gray all of my life (oooh, that might be a good blog topic…”The Gray”… back to it Lori). I take things on and go to the extreme with nearly everything. In some cases this lack of an “enough-meter” has served me well in my weight loss and career. But mentally I can drive myself crazy because never realizing when enough is enough I open myself up to burnout, fatigue and ultimately failure because when you don’t know when enough is enough…you keep going until you can’t…this is definitely a no bueno. This ends you up in a doctor’s office when you have pushed your body too far, or a therapists office when you simply cannot get something out of your head (btw, this is not a bad thing…seeing the therapist that is) because of the obsession that exists when enough is never enough.

The reality of what makes anything enough is being content with what you have and who you are TODAY. I have learned recently in order to find contentment you have to have gratitude. So today I look around me and take inventory of my life and realize that I still have more than enough of all the right things; love, family, friends and I today I am content and grateful. Most importantly, I am enough and so are you! – L.