Is To Much Of A Good Thing Bad?

Posted Nov 24, 2021 at 18:54

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“Things in excess become the opposite” , a chapter title from “The 4 hour work week” by Timothy Ferris, outlines how too much of a “good” thing can become bad. Instead it's not the quantity of something you have, but what you do with that something that matters.

Think food for example, once not too long ago we homosapeins ate to survive. We were hunter gatherers and lived one week to the next on what we could kill or forage. Now those early homosapien may not have been the healthiest (argurably) with their restricted diet but there almost certainly wasn't obesity, type 2 diabetes or heart disease associated with eating habits. These types of health concerns are modern conditions as a result of food abundance. Consuming too many calories and having a poor energy balance, an excess of carbohydrate and fats are a perfect example of too much of a good thing is bad.

Time, a commodity most spend 65 years wanting more of until they retire and often find they now have too much of it. How often have you heard stories or know somebody, possibly a family member or friend, who retires for 3 months then returns part time or volunteers somewhere to give more purpose to their days. Yet the last 10 years of their working careers have been spent counting down the days until they can finally retire. Again too much of a good thing can be bad.

Instead Tim Ferris states “its the use of one's time positively which is good, as opposed to an abundance of idle time”. It's the age old debate of would you want to live forever? What use is time if you have no one to spend it with or doing. Tim proposes that people don't desire time itself, more time to do the things they want to do, not feel obliged to do. Early homosapiens would probably have wanted food to be easily accessible or more nutrients variety not more food as a whole. What would a caveman do with millions of Big Macs and digestive biscuits. I know that's a silly notion but the premise is true.

Lastly I leave you with one more thought, one commodity I'm sure most would enjoy is money. But how would your life differ or change if you have 200 Billion dollars like Jeff Bezos. Would you still be working? Would you colonise mars? And at what point would all that money start to negatively affect your health and happiness?