By Leo Babauta
Many people I know are on a quest to optimize their lives — some of my favorite people in the world will spend days trying to perfect a productivity system, get things automated, or find the perfect software for anything they’re doing. They are on a continual search for the perfect diet, the perfect work routine, the perfect travel setup.
Optimizing can take quite a bit of time and energy.
What would happen if we let go of optimizing? Who would we be without the idea that we should optimize everything?
One idea is that if we decided not to optimize everything, we’d stop caring, stop trying to make things better, and live sub optimal lives. But I know myself pretty well — I will always care, even if I am not trying to optimize. I will always do my best, which is different than optimizing — it’s taking care and giving love, even if things aren’t optimized. I believe most of you are this way, pouring your hearts into something with pure love, without needing to make everything perfect.
So why shouldn’t we optimize? And what would it be like if we didn’t?
Give me a few moments to make the case against optimizing, and present an alternative way.
The Case Against Optimizing
I don’t think people who optimize are idiots (many of the smartest people do it), nor is it a life-ruining thing to try to optimize. I’ve done it many times.
And do it with a smile and joy in your heart. What a life we have been gifted with!
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.