Thursday, February 17, 2011

How Much is Too Much ?

Updated on 7th Nov. 2014

There is a hunger today in most of us to become high-achievers. The world having shrunk in size, all are familiar with the glitterati in their respective fields. The aura of success,fame & glamour around them inspires many of us to excel in our own sphere & make a name in the halls of fame. So far so good ! Whoever can label this as a vice ? Such aspirations benefit not only the individual, but also the society at large. Or we would have been bereft of all the amenities that we unthinkingly enjoy today.

Success is like tonic to body & mind. It makes a person happy,confident,energetic,amicable,outgoing & healthy. So where is the snag, you might well ask. Well success might be a tonic but it can also act like a heady wine. When it intoxicates a person the advantages recede & ill-effects surface.Someone hell-bent on outshining everyone else and reaching the pinnacle at the soonest forgoes the ordinary pleasures of life.He does not even have the time to enjoy the wealth that he keeps piling.Nor can he devote quality time to his family.The most he can do is,indulge their fancies & give them a free hand in spending money.  

No doubt this whole trajectory must have started in order to attain happiness & fulfillment. But when they reach the pinnacle can they be said to be truly happy ? No way! The whole journey becomes self-defeating.It is true that they live in luxurious homes,possess a fleet of cars,own private jets & so on & so forth. But do they have peace of mind & the bliss of contentment? Any new acquisition brings a fleeting sense of joy & very soon again they will be scanning the sky to decide what next ? It won't be long before boredom & ennui set in. Even their kids will one day tire of all the luxuries at their disposal & find themselves at a loose end. Happiness-which is the ultimate aim of every living being-stays out of their grasp. 

I certainly don't deride ambition & evolution. We definitely need to set the bench-mark higher & higher in order to  progress. Had our forefathers not done so , earth would still have been at the center of the universe & a trip to the moon would have been unthinkable ! But as we speed along, we must take care not to lose the human touch. All the luxuries of the world cannot replace the soft caress of a loved one on the forehead when one is having a headache. A lush life will give little comfort if our relationships have gone awry. And even the presence of a warm family around will not help us to get sleep if we are preoccupied with an obsession to overtake the next person on the scale. 

A craving for power & money can spew disastrous consequences.The initial taste of power & money provides many comforts & one naturally tries for more. And more, and more ! The hunger soon becomes insatiable; so much so that he does not

It is no secret that excess of everything is bad.The" Golden Mean" as Lord Buddha said, is the best state to be in.It is important to nurture all aspects of one's life.Material acquisitions alone cannot give peace or happiness.


  1. Mmm! Indu! I find that the definition of success itself is too constrictive these days. An NGO volunteer, no matter how many people she has helped, is not successful unless she has been covered by magazines or awarded by the government. The markers of success is all about money, fame and social status. There seems to be no room for a definition of success that stems from the character of the person.

  2. Thanks for your insight-yes this is how the general public defines success but if an individual wants to find wholesome satisfaction in his life,then he has to set his own parameters.

  3. Soulful, valuable truth beautifully penned!

  4. Amitjee thank you for this lovely comment.

  5. Loved it!! Could identify with it at some places too...:-Being your own friend- that I guess is the beginning of a life long friendship. Remember that song- 'man ke manjeere aaj thirakne lage'....I LOVE that song and I guess the spirit of your entire blog conveys the same feeling....Beautiful blog, Indu.

  6. Panchali your comments leave a trail of happiness behind them & your observations add meaning to the post.I am truly honored that you like my blog .

  7. Well at times, this is the question I'm asking society and the people I know- how much is enough? I know my boundaries and my definitions of success but the people I'm surrounded with always seem to be expecting more out of me.

  8. Medha the expectations of society are often contrary to an individual's bent of mind but why worry about that?No one can please all--might as well please self & family.Yes the latter is important too;because personal happiness often hinges upon that.

  9. Yes, you have made valid points. Neither too much nor too less, that's the mantra for life. A balanced approach is what will keep us sane and intact. The question, however, is how to achieve that balance. Once that is sorted out, rest of it is just execution.

    Keep posting :)




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