LeadU presents Everything in Moderation


Everything in Moderation

"Do everything in moderation, including moderation." Benjamin Franklin

"mhden agan" was inscribed on the temple of Apollo at Delphi. It means "nothing in excess". In Aristotle’s Rhetoric it is attributed to Chilo, one of the Seven Sages of ancient Greece.

"Moderation in all things"

This line from Andria, written in the second century B.C. by the Roman playwright Terence, echoes the "Golden Mean" emphasized two centuries earlier by Aristotle. But the concept of moderation as a means to a virtuous life is believed to have been inspired by the Seven Sages (c650-c550 B.C.), including Thales, Solon, Periander, Cleobulus, Chilon, Bias, and Pittacus, who as a group and individually are credited for many sayings throughout antiquity.

"A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." Thomas Paine

Confused? Me Too.

How could something so simple, be so complex…?

"If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please." Epictetus

And it just gets more confusing.

This will be the difficulty we have in transitioning from BS to @F-L-O-W.

As each defines the terms in their own favor, we do approach the model of the prescription right> moderation?

Yet, early roots of Blank Slate are here, which is intriguing to me because the Greeks seemed "behind the curve in psychology" compared to the Indians, which some will say are our oldest "psychologists." I think it was James Hillman, who did that program, but I can find no evidence of it and I don’t know if I’ll find my copy again… casulaties of growth, I think.

Hillman died in 2011, and he was amazing, btw > a “US psychologist who concluded that therapy needed to change the world rather than focus on people’s inner lives.” his Obituary is recommended reading of someone said to be as influential as William James! I think he was snubbed by the Top 100.  I didn’t see his name there, but I could be wrong shame what happens when you go against the flow, isn’t it?

Back to moderation.

If I could ever figure out what this means, it might be a good idea here, but I can’t, so let me define it for you.

Moderation seems to be a self-control mechanism for comparing ourselves to what is appropriate in composite standards and we are required to change, or control our whatever desire, urges, impulses, behavior, whatever to remain moderate.

Thomas Friedman’s column this morning (March 28, 2012) (biased as he is!) said that in order to find a moderate republican, you have to go to Australia… 

Sometimes I wonder if he’s been much, because you thought we were conservative.  That former penal colony has interesting ideas about conservatism, in my view…  Moderation is in the eye of the beholder and that is why it’s got so much play in BS.

THEREFORE, BS aside, moderation is for the 1-5% where moderation is an inborn attribute, or combinatorial set as it emerges. Fine for them, as that is within their limits, but not a good match for @F-L-O-W.

In @F-L-O-W, you will want to work asymmetrically with your strengths, gifts, and inbornness to construct scaffolding for what emerges as the needs for success.  IF those require moderation, then design that into the system.  There are many ways to do this.

One thing that I notice about BS equality is that because of this swath of the wand, equality begets moderation, and of course pre-BS, which BS has co-opted from the stoics, is the idea that honor, duty, moderation in all things, etc. is a way to remake yourself, and for those 1-5%, it will be @F-L-O-W!

Actually for them, moderation in all things is an asymmetry, because they use that as a hammer looking for nails, on ALL of us, which means even though they preach moderation, the reality of it, it has serious limits to those who are prescribed by it > go figure.

Helpful Hint: All of us are going to want to play to our strengths, where they become limitations, either through underplay, or overplay, we can again come into virtue through scaffolding and support.

Action Step: Moderation is another BS ploy to get us to work on our broke selves, while setting aside our gifts to align with composite standards that virtually no one can come into alignment with through personal change, or discipline, or self-control.  Therefore, we need to design away these problems, and not solve them.  They are too expensive for us as a person and as a people. Try seeing where the asymmetry of your strengths lie, and note how they can be used to reform your ideas about moderation.

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or need some additional help, please use the form below to submit them.  Someone will get back to you within 48 hours. 

    We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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