My Mantra - Variety, Moderation, and Consistency

The Simple Dollar had a great post about moderation that reminded me about a mantra I've developed years ago. At some point in my teens or possibly early college, I found three core ideas that really helped focus my life:

  • Variety
  • Moderation
  • Consistency

By having variety in my life, I figured I wouldn't be bored. Moderation would keep all my various activities in check, while consistency could help ensure that I progressed and derived returns and satisfaction from my efforts. I didn't follow it perfectly, but "Variety. Moderation. Consistency." helped frame my life and activities ever since. It could almost be a recipe for happiness, or at least contentment.

Back when I danced more, I would use the three-word mantra to remember to try more than just one type of dance (or even activity). I'd be sure to try to not overdo it. On the other hand, it was good to be consistent about practice, both to get better at my chosen hobby as well as maintain a positive relationship with fellow dancers and my teacher.

Variety. Moderation. Consistency.

The mantra was also helpful when I felt something in my life was out-of-balance. By recalling it and gauging if some aspect of my life matched it accordingly, I could tell what needed to be fixed. Was I getting bored with not enough variety? Was I ignoring the importance of moderation by doing too much? Was I consistently working towards my goals or showing up to the things I've committed to?

It's a great feeling when your life feels balanced. Not necessarily "maximally optimized," or perfect, but "just right" across a variety of domains. I've found that having these three words helps me do quick checks on whether I'm in the right direction. It's also comforting to be able to name what's making me feel content in life.

Right now, I think I have a good balance of all three.

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