Moderation is for cowards

During his US Marine initiation in the movie Lone Survivor, a young navy seal exhorts, “Moderation is for cowards!” As in most things, there are 2 perspectives to take here.

When going for the big goal, such as pursuing your dream or winning the gold medal in the Olympics, one has to throw “caution to the wind’ and go for it. Moderate training won’t get you there. Half-way thoughts won’t provide the needed motivation to push beyond.

However, in another perspective, extremes may not always serve you well. Being a perfectionist on everything, will not only hurt your team, but may burn you out. Striving for that last 10% results in diminishing returns on your limited resources.

As in most things, you need to pick your battles: when the motivation is needed to push beyond and when it is more prudent to find the balance. This is leadership: inspiring people to “shoot for the moon” yet maximize resources.