Beyond the Build


When Is Too Much, Too Much?

With each passing year, I think it is easier at times for us to get caught up in the “comparison trap.” I know I have been guilty of this very thing.

A few months ago, I had lunch with an acquaintance, a wealthy individual who had accumulated a substantial amount of wealth during her life. As we talked, she was saying that being blessed with money can actually be a curse. How do you ensure you are a good steward of your funds? What about your children and grandchildren? Will they have good perspective in light of their wealth and work equally hard as she did?

I think the same goes for brains. I have an attorney friend who scored perfect on the LSAT, yet he’s spent his life struggling with depression followed by a bit of addiction. I’d argue that somewhere between the extremes of average and excessive might be the sweet spot. If you need to feel perfect for a time, you can always take a trip down to Seaside for the week, which seems to me a lot like Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon, “Where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” The regular world will be waiting on you when you return. Hopefully you’ll be feeling glad for what you have and not worrying about what you may not have.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.