Success or Excess

What’s the difference?

As my favorite English teacher might say – each has baggage that it brings along. Connotations and impressions.

Most everyone likes success: “Woohoo – you did it!”

Not too many people like excess: “Don’t you think three helpings were enough?”

But really, just what is the difference?…

Common roots

Both words end with “cess”, and this nice etymology site shows that both words have an origin in the Latin “cedere” or go, pass; grant, concede, yield.

So the thought is that both success and excess involve getting to a certain point.

Knowing when enough is enough

And perhaps that’s the point.

Harvesting enough food – success; winning the game – success; getting a nice job – success.

Hoarding food while others starve – excess; dancing a jig after running up the score – excess; owning everything – excess.

Keeping a handle on too much

And it’s interesting.

As much as we like to see people succeed, we don’t want to see them flaunt that success.

We like to see things in moderation.

… hmm that’s an interesting word…

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