Vickie Milazzo's Thoughts for Success

Thoughts for Success: Excess Is a Liability; Needing Less Is an Asset

There’s a famous quote “Nothing exceeds like excess.” At first it’s hard to grasp, but the more you think about it, the more relevant it becomes. Last week I was in a meeting with an attorney and he started to tell me about a wedding reception he’d attended that had shirtless male models wearing overalls walking around shucking fresh oysters for the attendees (Darn I’m upset that I missed that one!) and another that had monogrammed cloth napkins for the guests.

I attended a bat mitzvah hosted by a friend that cost more than $150,000. And I’m suffering an excess of invitations to wedding showers that will serve customized, individualized pastries, followed by wedding gift registries that exceed the gross domestic product of some Latin American countries and the soon-to-follow baby gender-reveal parties, followed by increasingly lavish baby showers for that soon-to-be newborn and then the inevitable birthday parties with monster trucks, reptile wagons or inflatable jumping slides.

Thoughts for Success: Excess Is a Liability; Needing Less Is an Asset

We keep setting the bar of excess higher and higher. The funny thing is that there’s not necessarily any satisfaction from it. Raising the bar of excess is a liability because it’s more likely to lead to dissatisfaction than happiness. The more you want and get, the less you enjoy what you have. Needing less is the asset we can all use more of.

I suffer from my own excesses and there are three ways I confront them to elevate the needle of my gratitude meter. Whether I’m visiting a developing country like Rwanda, playing in the backyard with my six-year-old niece or simply getting out in the woods to hike and breathe some fresh air, I am reminded of the true meaning of life.

Whatever it may be for you, indulge in less by exploring those things that remind you of the silliness and excesses of life. Transport yourself to a world beyond $6 cupcakes and half-naked oyster dudes (Darn!). You might not be able to stop the craziness of excess entirely, but getting away from it occasionally helps you distinguish what you love, what you need and what you don’t.

I’m Just Sayin’

P.S. Comment and share whether you need to step back from the brink of excess. How do you know?

P.P.S. Who wants an oyster? Go ahead admit it. LOL!

12 thoughts on “Thoughts for Success: Excess Is a Liability; Needing Less Is an Asset

    1. Vickie, you have done it again. Thank you. Like the Beetles sing….”give me money”…I would change the words and insert instead your “Blog!” Thank you for reminding me…the best things in life are free!!

  1. Vickie, you nailed it! For me it started with the expected goodie bags when my daughter was in elementary school. The first party I threw for her did not have those, and one of her classmates actually threw a tantrum because he did not get a goodie bag! These excesses are frequently just the adult version of goodie bags, and are really unnecessary. Isn’t the whole point of getting together for these occasions the celebration itself? Sad what we have become.

  2. Thank you for this, Vickie. I think the visit of Pope Francis to the United States this week is a very good reminder of what you’re talking about here – let’s all try to imitate that.

  3. You are so right! People matter and we have such a limited time to know and express that. Truth and simple beauty are the keys to a contented life.

  4. So very true. Well said, Vickie. It is not always easy, but I love your three prescriptions ‘to elevate the needle of my gratitude meter’ – essentially – finding ways to be thankful is the key. Thanks.

  5. Very true! Things may help make you happy temporarily, but there is more to life than things.

  6. Right on, Vickie. I wonder sometimes if we as parents have any idea how we contribute to and set our kids up for dissatisfaction with life in the future.

  7. Well said, Vickie. It’s amazing how we take life for granted until life take us out of our comfort zone only to ask ourselves, “What can I do to make my environment and this world a better place???” Then the next question is, “What am I going to do about it??” As a nurse I’ve tried; honestly don’t know if I tried hard enough. Will see.
    Thanks for the awareness, Vickie.
    Deloris

  8. The more stuff you have, the more the stuff owns you instead of you owning it. Seriously considering downsizing my (admittedly modest) 1600 sq ft living space to around 1000 sq ft. And we probably will once our youngest daughter is gone.

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