Shots of Wit

A regular posting of witticisms, aphorisms, and general musings by Clifford Cohen.

Too much passion…

Amazing how too much passion in one part of your life can destroy passion in other parts of your life.

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We weren’t meant to get too passionate about any one thing—at least not for too long a time. Our capacity for passion (emotional or intellectual) is limited, and when we allow ourselves to become too enthralled with something, there is a price to pay in other areas of our lives. Why should this matter—especially when it feels so wonderful to focus exclusively on a particular passion? We are generalists, specifically designed to meet the varied challenges of life with varied responses and strategies. To do this, we must find enough interest in any given opportunity/challenge to motivate us to contend with that opportunity/challenge and achieve our aims—but not too much interest, such that our ability to address other pressing matters is compromised.

I am aware that “unlocking passion” in one area of a person’s life can help them to find passion in other areas of their life. This aphorism states that while there can be salutary effects arising from passionate pursuits, the opposite can also be true. When you find yourself thinking exclusively about something or someone, ask yourself what impacts this might be having on other, equally important aspects of your life. Because those things also matter greatly, make a conscious effort to refocus some of your energies toward them in order to regain balance.

The oft-noted concept of “everything in moderation…including moderation” is, of course, pertinent to these observations. However, the moderation concept conveys more of a prescription for how to live your life, without explicitly providing the rationale for doing as advised. This aphorism states the consequences of engaging in a key (and common) form of immoderation: the passionate pursuit of an interest. Simply knowing that the potential for consequence exists is usually enough to encourage more moderate behavior.

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