Zi Gong asked which of the two, Shi or Shang, was the superior.
The Master said, "Shi goes beyond the mark, Shang does not attain it."
"Meaning that Shi is superior?", Said Zi Gong.
The Master said, "To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short"
Knowing what is enough is often a tricky thing. People are not always clear about just what their expectations are, and it is not uncommon for those expectations to change over time. We all have many responsibilities in our lives, to our jobs, our family and friends, and also to ourselves. No one wants to fail to meet the expectations of others, but it is also important to keep in mind that spending more time on one area, is a decision to spend less time on another.Going to far on something now can result in coming up short later.
We should also take this attitude in how we look at, and talk about others. Take the time to make your expectations clear, and thank people when they fulfill them. If you find that someone has done what you ask, but it is still not enough, take responsibility for not being clear in the first place and try to communicate better in the future.
A culture where the highest praise is reserved only for those who go above and beyond is a culture in danger of creating serious imbalances. The person who know what is enough, and fulfills that so he or she can move on to meeting other responsibilities, is doing more to create harmony in our world than those who strive for excess in only certain areas. These are the people most deserving of praise.