In The Trenches

Can you have too much of a good thing?

Published on March 16, 2023 Back to blog

A few weeks ago, I found myself in the local animal hospital at 2 o’clock in the morning with our 9-year old Golden Retriever, Jasmine. She had been coughing a lot and having some difficulty breathing, so I brought her in to get checked. After an exam and a few X-rays, the doctor told me that her stomach was about 5 times larger than it should be, and was pushing against her diaphragm. I immediately thought she caught (and ate) a squirrel or rabbit in our yard, but the doctor said that she didn’t see any bones. Then, I remembered seeing the food container for James (our other dog) open that evening. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but suddenly realized Jasmine must have gotten into it and eaten every morsel she could reach. (With Jasmine, if there’s food for the taking, she’s taking it…).

As I watched the veterinarian and her assistant work to extract the food from Jasmine’s stomach (I have pictures and a video, but decided not to share), I found myself wondering if you really can have too much of a good thing. And while, the answer is a resounding yes to some things, here’s my analysis of a few I considered:

Favorite Foods: Yes Even Jasmine, who is known to eat anything within reach (never leave food unattended in our house), would now admit there is a limit. And, as much as I love chocolate, ice cream and BBQ ribs – I also know that too much can lead to some problems.

Great Music: Yes As a musician (drummer) and music lover, I could listen to great music almost endlessly. But, like food, there is a limit. We need to sleep at some point. 

Personal Success: Maybe Of course, everyone’s definition of success is different. If and when you achieve it, enjoy it. But, be careful with it. As we’ve seen in countless TV shows and movies (Succession, Breaking Bad and Billions to name a few), success can get to your head and lead to greed, corruption, inflated ego and general destruction.

Good Friends: Maybe While social media has shown that we can all have hundreds (if not not thousands) of “friends,” my instinct is that there is a limit to the number of “good friends” you can have, as these relationships require a time and emotional commitment to truly flourish. Accumulate and value them accordingly.

Love: No The more love you have, the greater risk there is of a broken heart. But, I believe the reward far outweighs the risk on this one. Find love. Give love. Enjoy love.

While we all want an abundance of good things in life, we can only truly appreciate those things when we know what it is like to not have them. So, enjoy what you have. And, let times of scarcity provide motivation to attain them and value them even more. 

Jeff Freedman
CEO/Managing Partner
Small Army | Finn Partners