“Nothing in excess” – Solon
It recently occurred to me — everything in excess is horrible for us.
I don’t know how to moderate myself
I love meat. But after visiting a few all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ’s, I always end up leaving feeling horrible. I always over-eat, and no matter how delicious the meat is, I always end up regretting it.
I love coffee. But if I drink coffee after 3pm, I get massive insomnia.
I (used to) love drinking. But whenever I drink, I would always over-indulge, get massive headaches, and a horrible hangover, which would make me useless for the next few days.
I love traveling. But too much traveling means that I can’t get any real work done, I am away from my loved ones, and I suffer from horrible jetlag.
How to avoid excess
There is the saying: “everything in moderation.” I disagree. Crack cocaine and heroin (in moderation) is horrible for you.
For me, I have found the easiest solution to avoid excess is through total abstinence.
I often find that whenever I am presented with a huge plate of meat, I will eat it all, no matter what. I have a problem with over-eating, and have a hard time controlling myself. So what has worked me is to practice fasting or abstinence (from eating anything) until evening. I’ve been skipping my breakfast and lunch, and drinking coffee and water through the day. This helps me stay awake, active, and productive — until I feast in the evening. And when I eat in the evening, I try to limit myself to a certain amount of food.
I used to be addicted to social media, email, and the internet. I still am — but a lot less, because I try to practice total abstinence. For certain hours, certain days, or sometimes even for a week — I will try to abstain from all sort of social media, email, and the internet. This has helped me gain a laser-like focus when it comes to doing “real” work. And when I do go back on social media, email, and the internet — I will do everything I need to do, then stop.
I used to own excess cameras and lenses, which stressed me out, and prevented me from focusing in my photography. The only way I was able to cure myself was to do a total purge. Getting literally all of my cameras and lenses, or locking them up. And then starting off from scratch. Now I just have 1 camera and 1 lens, and I feel my heart at peace.
Abstinence is a solution
I’ve found for me, abstinence is easier than moderation. Of course this might not work for you — but try it out.
If you’re trying to lose weight, abstain 100% from sugar, processed foods, and simple carbs for a week.
If you’re addicted to any drug, try to do a 100% cold-turkey approach for a week.
When you allow yourself “moderation” — there is no limit. Because there is no objective stance for “moderation.”
If you’re trying to quit eating unhealthy foods, what is “moderation” in terms of eating unhealthy foods? 1 cookie? 2 cookies? 10 cookies?
If you’re trying to quit drinking, what is “moderate” drinking? 1 beer, 2 beers, 5 beers, 10 beers?
If you’re addicted to social media, try a week-long fast or abstinence from using all forms of social media. See if you feel more clean, happier, or focused by the end of the week.
Once again, just experiment. Try out this approach — and see if living a life of abstinence, and avoiding excess can help you.