Seasons Change (and The Law of Diminishing Returns)

Published on August 31st, 2015

Of all four seasons, I enjoy summer most. There’s something about the ability to lounge around in flip flops and a loose cotton dress while slurping down an ice cream cone by a lake or pool that really does it for me. Throw in a cold beer and a good novel and I’m jolly.

Early fall comes in second place. Those colorful leaves can be mighty pretty. Late spring takes home the trophy for third place because I can usually get through pollen season with just a few boxes of Claritin and a spray or two of Flonase and manage to enjoy the fresh blossoms. I don’t even want to mention winter because I was taught that if I don’t have anything nice to say, then I should just refrain from comment.

But I’m learning, as I grow wiser, that I can’t always be productive by staying in the season that feels good for me. If, heaven forbid, I were somehow able to extend/prolong/max out summer (and everything else that makes my toes tingle), then I (and a few others) would be in a world of trouble. Literally. Plants would dry out. Lots of animals wouldn’t make it to mating season (some of us, alternatively, would have too many children). Earth would cease to make those necessary rotations around the sun. Some other part of the world would be frozen indefinitely. The apocalyptic list goes on.

We humans seem to be wired to overreach, you know.

It seems as though one glass of wine can be relaxing but should I guzzle down the whole bottle of Cabernet then I might fall over on my arse. A few squares of chocolate can be good for the heart but a few too many is hell on the thighs. A little bit of charm and romance can make you a Casanova, but come on too strong and you may get hit with a restraining order. Drive carefully and at a decent speed and you just may arrive at your destination in time, but press the gas pedal too hard and you’re sure to be wrapped around a tree.

You can’t take what works well in small doses and exploit it—mistakenly thinking that increasing the force and amount of the input will automatically improve and increase your return. It never ends well. It’s the law of diminishing returns.

I’ll tell you a secret. I have a horrible habit of worrying too much. I worry about what hasn’t happened yet and I worry about what has already occurred. Worst of all, when I reflect on the things I could have done better, I’m hit with a nagging temptation to overcorrect it the next time. But I’m human. And if I got everything right that I screwed up previously, then I think there’s a very good chance that I would have messed up something else in the process of getting the first thing right.

Have I confused you yet?

My science experiment for the month of September is to put my own speed on cruise control and resist the urge to overreach.

You should try it too. Send me a message and tell me what happens. And in the meantime, I’m going to embrace the coming of fall and trade in these sundresses for some cute-ass jeans.

Talk soon.

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