More Is Not Always Better


More Is Not Always Better

In life, and particularly in the modern world that we live in today, where we are so obsessed with accumulating material possessions, the concepts of “more” and “bigger” seem to be associated with “better”.

We seem to want more of everything, perhaps thinking that that is the path to happiness and fulfillment. Or maybe we are just doing what everyone else is doing.

Are you a food lover? I wouldn’t exactly call myself one – I’m more of the eat-to-live type of person – but there are certain foods which I consume with great pleasure.

One of them is salmon sashimi. When I dine at a Japanese restaurant and I consume a few slices of salmon sashimi – and it’s usually only a few slices because they tend to be quite costly – I really savor each and every bite on each and every piece, enjoying both the taste and the texture. Sashimi lovers will probably know what I’m talking about.

Once in a long while, I dine at restaurants which offer salmon sashimi buffet-style. In other words, you get to take as many slices of it as you wish during the dining period. Typically, under such circumstances, I would end up consuming a lot more of the salmon than I usually do.

And there’s something I realized – when you have access to too many slices of salmon sashimi, you stop savoring every bite as you normally do, and you cease to enjoy them as much as you usually do. Your focus seems to turn towards eating as many pieces as you can stomach.

At the end of the day, I realize a great irony – eating many pieces of salmon sashimi on a free-flow basis actually brings about less enjoyment than eating a few precious slices. Somehow, the feeling of scarcity brings about much greater utility. On the other hand, too much, excess, actually numbs your enjoyment and gratitude.

The insight is simple – when we have too much of a good thing, we begin to take it for granted, and we cease to savor it and appreciate it as we used to. I’m sure this applies to many other aspects of life, too. Is more really better?

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