Andrew Tobias (author of The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need and many other good books on personal finance) once noted that it's somehow far more comfortable to earn a little more money year by year than it is to achieve wealth, enjoy it, and then lose it and be forced to revert to a more modest lifestyle. Retreat is painful, even if it ends at a higher level than steady progress would have reached.
Maybe the same wisdom applies in other areas? Life is wonderful if one can look forward to gradually improving health, or incremental growth in learning, or a slowly expanding circle of friends. Overshoot followed by collapse is the core of tragedy.
TopicLife - 2002-08-05