Wherever you look, whatever you do, performance has gone extreme, often policed by a tracking app or a competitive peer (sometimes masquerading as a friend). Moderation, in any form, is seen as nothing but amateurism, the habit of a slacker who won’t commit 10,000 hours of practice to master something. I long ago decided to invest in extreme moderation. I do everything with the deliberate intent of finding a balance between two extremes — doing nothing and doing too much. I want to do a reasonable job at the different parts of my life and a stellar job at the balance between all of them. So many of us say we want balance, but we aren’t extreme enough in our devotion to this ideal. We lean too heavily or for too long on one dimension or another. Much of balance feels like standing on one leg — you need to constantly renegotiate and adapt to small changes. How do you put balance into practice? First, we each have to define it for ourselves. I personally like Aristotle’s outline: “something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for.” I divide this into four pillars that should balance each other: brain (knowledge, relevance, professional expertise, lifelong learning); love (relationships, family, community, care); change (openness to self-question, networks, transition skills); and choice (financial flexibility, savings, earning power). Come up with your own guiding principle and make your own list of life pillars. Now do two things: Review the balance of the past seven years. What ratio of your time did you invest in each? What balance would you like for the next seven years? Different phases of life will have very different goals and balances. In my thirties, I spent more time parenting than exercising. In my late fifties, that needs to change. But I don’t need to become a triathlete. Instead, I do some yoga every week and walk the dog daily. I eat well but don’t fuss. I work hard but not overtime. I try to love consciously, every day. To give back and to spend some time helping others. Could I do more? Yes, undoubtedly and in every area. There are tens of millions of people who do better at each of these things than I do. But I don’t have to compare myself with them, because I’m in a different competition. And in that arena, I’m one of the best I know. I am an absolute master at moderation. I don’t (usually) brag about it; that’s not part of the moderate’s mindset (and I am Canadian, after all). But I have spent a lifetime honing my daily practice, worshipping at the altar of “good enough.” Today, I am neither superrich nor superfit nor supersuccessful. But I have just enough of each to qualify in my own personal marathon, the race for a balanced life. In the end, maybe this only really matters to me and my dog, who does get a lot of good walks out of it. To me, that’s enough.