June 9

“Too much pleasure is harmful but with virtue we need not worry about excess because moderation is contained within virtue.” – Seneca

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. We’ve all heard this before.

By indulging in the things we enjoy, the things that we know are distractions, we might be rewarding ourselves, we may be using distractions to help build our relationships or we might just be enjoying ourselves.

Too much indulging however, lessens the pleasure we get from each of these distractions. An excess of these things that we enjoy makes them less enjoyable. That’s how hedonic adaption works. No matter what we encounter or go through, our level of contentment or happiness tends to return to a steady state.

This means that the more we indulge in pleasure, the less pleasure we receive from the things we enjoy indulging in. This gives us two strong reasons to practice moderation in our indulgences.

The first is that by practicing moderation we decrease our chances of becoming slaves to our pleasures. By staying disciplined about our indulgences we are able to focus on our goal of becoming our best selves without getting distracted by the pleasures we enjoy indulging in.

The second reason to exercise moderation in our indulgences is that we experience more pleasure the less frequently we indulge. If we hold off and force ourselves to earn our pleasures, they are all that much more enjoyable when we do finally indulge.

And that is something to look forward to.

virtus fortis vocat

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