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What I'm reading #30: Taste the joy of life in abundance

By Sam Instone - July 29, 2022

We live in a world full of extremes.

And it's evolved into an all-or-nothing existence...

Do you work excessive hours, and then take long holidays for a ‘break'?

Or spend months not really considering what you eat, to then revert to a severe detox regime?

For many senior international professionals, 'extreme' might be burning the candle at both ends, six days/nights a week, to then attempt to make up for it with one long day of rest on the seventh.

It seems like anything that happens to anyone is either ‘super awesome!’ or ‘the worst thing ever.’


Let me be clear, I'm not against the idea of frugality, travelling, staying fit, or eating well.

These are all worthy pursuits.

But most things in life aren't meant to be extreme.

Often, the ‘right’ amount of something is ‘moderate.’

Moderation means to show restraint, avoid extremes and excesses, and practise prudence.

In my profession, this might mean holding a low-cost, globally diversified portfolio invested in the world's best companies, and leaving it alone. 

Not chasing the latest investment fad or get-rich-quick scheme

In today’s fast-paced world, it's easy to become consumed by our desires.

We do it all the time.

"I want this", "give me that"...

More gadgets, more food...

However, if we choose to exercise moderation, we can become the master of our desires.

We can choose our pleasures rather than indulging mindlessly in limitless excess.

We can choose to enjoy what we have rather than succumbing to an unending quest for all that we don't have.

Not too little, not too much, just right

The Swedish swear by the philosophy of Lagom, which means “Not too little. Not too much. Just right.”

It's a considerable part of Sweden's culture...

And could be why its people are some of the happiest in the world, with a healthy work-life balance and high standards of living.

Rather than burning yourself out with a 60-hour working week, Lagom encourages balance and living somewhere in the middle.

In a busy world where we have access to almost anything at any time, moderation presents a simple and balanced way to live and work without missing out on anything.

The idea is to avoid labelling things as "good" or "bad".

To avoid depriving yourself of things, but not overindulging too. Both of which require a lot of energy.

Instead, focus on striking a balance.

(Say, with your spending and saving). 

As that's one of the only true ways to enjoy life in all its abundance.


Further reading

The world’s best stock market tip

What I'm reading #28: Do you have internal or external success?

How to transfer your Shell pension (Shell Overseas Contributory Pension Fund/SOCPF)

What I'm reading #29: 45 cognitive biases of today's world

2022: A review at halftime

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