How much is too much?
“My cup runneth over” is a Biblical expression of being blessed over and above what is required. It is an expression of joyful gratitude. This is what we chase after every day in our businesses and private lives.
But there is a flip side to having too much.
Recently, as I was waiting on the platform at Farnborough Station, a young man collapsed on the platform. He was clutching a beer can. He had drunk so much that his body could no longer handle it. He was out cold, in the cold, on the platform without any dignity at all. It wasn’t even 11-00 am yet! I felt very sorry for him, and offered my assistance but an off-duty policeman stayed with him while the ambulance was called.
This is a symptom of our modern Western society. We have so much of everything, that we have lost the understanding of scarcity. We don’t know how to work sparingly and how to stop when we have had enough. We seem to have lost the boundary between having enough, and overwhelming ourselves with far too much.
This has lead to an epidemic of obesity, alcoholism, drug and sex addiction – And a disposable society where nothing carries much value. When it’s gone, it’s simply replaced. Even people are treated as numbers in society, a commodity to use and move on as industry requires. We over-exercise, over-spend, over-everything.
Yet there are other things of which we do not have enough. Whilst gorging ourselves on the materialistic and the pleasures of our senses, we are poor in mental and physical health. Our relationships are suffering. We are stressed, overworked and over-stretched because we have lost the sense of balance.
It reminds me of a buddhist saying: “When the cup is full, stop pouring.”
For me, “stop pouring when the cup is full” is about maintaining balance. Only having as much as is required means leaving something for tomorrow. It’s about pacing ourselves, stopping when we don’t need any more. Having enough not to be deprived, but not so much that there is waste. Pacing ourselves. Having balance.
A recent definition from my coach, Croz Crossley, about richness is this: Being rich is having enough to do what you want, when you want, and have the time to do it in. Any more than that is superfluous.
Is this possible?
Can you stop pouring when your cup is full?
Or is the behaviour pattern so strong that you have to continue?
I would love to know your thoughts about this. Book some diary time for a chat with me.
I look forward to speaking with you. Have a good Monday! xxx