Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Lesson of Goldilocks

Many of us have heard the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It's a common children's tale retold for countless generations.

I never really gave the story much thought, though. The only moral I ever got from the story was that you shouldn't break and enter into someone else's home, and that Goldilocks was awfully picky.

Turns out, though, that Goldilocks was one smart gal (minus the whole breaking and entering thing). She wasn't picky; she had an innate sense of proportion. And I have recently been convinced that this sense of proportion is something all of us should cultivate in ourselves, as well.

Just because I read one book: Drive (If you'd like to discover more about this quite enlightening book on motivation, click here).

In that book, Pink (the author) talks about something he calls 'Goldilocks tasks'. These are tasks that are not too much for a person to accomplish, creating stress, nor too little, creating boredom, but are just right in the time allowed.

I loved that term. And the more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that Pink was on to something.

And not just for tasks. This lesson could be used in all aspects of life. Because the true lesson of Goldilocks, the one I missed all along, is balance.

Goldilocks knew what was too hot for her to handle. She knew what was too cold for her to digest. And she knew where the perfect balance between those two extremes lay. More than that, she acted on that knowledge.

And the more I looked at the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the more I saw that impressed me. On top of everything else, this simple children's tale points out a common misconception we all seem to have in our perception of balance: the right balance is different for each individual. Papa bear fit in the big chair just fine. Baby bear fit in his cute, little chair perfectly. But Goldilocks didn't fit right in either one.

The same is true about other things. What is a good boundary or point of view for someone else, may not hold true for you. Massive changes may not work for you; taking it too slow may kill your progress. More than likely, your balance will lie somewhere in between a rapid change and a slow, progressive change. And that's okay. As long as it works for you.

I've experimented with how to change most of my life. And this plan right here is working for me better than anything else ever has. But the balance I've forged may not work for you. The best way to find your own balance in your change is to be like Goldilocks and try each method on for size.

I might be alone in never realizing the true lessons of Goldilocks before now. But each of us could use her innate sense of proportion in our lives.

At least, I sure could.

Daily Stats:


  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal, went $17 over budget, and wrote a poem today.
  3. Posted on blog.
  4. Made bed, did laundry, folded laundry and put it away, and picked up floor in room.

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