You Don’t Need To Optimize To Be Perfect

When I first entered the self-help world, there were several YouTubers that I followed. I did this to build my view of the industry, learn how to optimize my own life, and learn how others did it.

Those in the self-help or self-improvement world are people who have already “made it” in life, or at least give the appearance. Those with more views were people who were rich, drove expensive cars, had thriving businesses, and were typically men with a supermodel-like girlfriend or wife by their side.

I wasn’t entirely roped into that fantasy, as I don’t care about cars at all or insane levels of wealth, but it gave me an idea of what to aspire to, generally speaking.

To me, “being optimized” would focus more on the business aspect. Being better in marketing, making content, and building an audience. It resulted in me gravitating more towards Gary Vaynerchuk than other YouTubers in that sphere.

Nevertheless, it gave me this urge, which is all to familiar in this industry. It’s a good feeling, but with some dark undertones to it.

It was a desire to optimize one’s life.

I bring this up because, despite listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s words, I still keep some of the self-help YouTubers on my subscription list.

One of which is still posting content on a regular basis.

This one features a fit man who has it all. Thriving business (presumably), and a girlfriend that could easily pass as a supermodel, although he seems to be dating her on and off again based on past thumbnails.

How inconvenient.

But it does make sense, given the first impressions I had of this man.

The few videos I’ve seen of him years ago entailed “getting out of your comfort zone” by bumping into a woman and yelling “who do you think I am?!?” at them before introducing yourself.

Yeah sure, buddy, that really isn’t awkward at all… Even in the mid 2010s.

The other was a vlog-style video with one scene of him and his girlfriend going to the gym and a slow-mo shot of him smacking her ass.

In the middle of a public gym….

Yeah that’ll sure send a message to how to treat women.

Mind you, this was almost a decade ago since I saw those videos and maybe he’s changed his ways. Maybe he’s better. I don’t really know.

But I do know that his channel is still uploading content. Some of which entails how to attract women in a man’s life.

And while I don’t know much about him, nor do I think he should stop making content because he’s “unqualified,” it speaks to the overall optimization of this industry and how much of a hindrance it can be for consumers.

As such, let this be a reminder that things don’t need to be optimal or optimized for your life to be great. Here is why.

We’re Still Going To Have Problems

The world is filled with all kinds of problems we face on a regular basis. Hustle-bro-who-slaps-girlfriends-ass-in-public has girlfriend issues. I have financial woes and am struggling to find any meaningful work to get me out of that mess. Not to mention weight issues.

And you have problems, too.

Problems are the birthplace of progress in the end. As we grow, our problems change and evolve. We’re still generally fighting the same problems, but our unique circumstances change the beast that we’re facing.

For you, it might be saving up to retire. For me, it’s saving up and making enough to survive. Nevertheless, we’re all saving for something.

The point is that with optimization, the goal is to be perfect. To completely solve that issue and move on.

In a sense, we are dealing with the issue. Those saving up to retire presumably have enough to survive and maintain their current lifestyle. However, that problem is still there. You still have money problems.

While our problems are meant to be solved and we should strive to solve them, optimization can easily create a bit of an obsession to solve those issues. To get the most out of those experiences.

Another good example is people’s sleep cycles. These days, we have wearables and sleep trackers to help us figure out how much deep sleep we get. There are pillows and mattresses available that can help ensure supreme comfort and relaxation while sleeping, too.

All these things are great on paper. We do need sleep, and sleeping somewhere soft is better than sleeping on the floor, a park bench or a couch. However, obsessing over those details can lead to orthosomnia, a medical condition that is a direct result of obsessing over ones sleep.

Meaning that obsession to sleep better ensues restless sleep due to high levels of anxiety and disrupted sleep.

While technology and various techniques have helped us do wondrous things and achieve things faster and in a different way than before, there comes a point where those things hinder us. When one obsesses too much about one thing, the one that comes out on top tends to be the one who isn’t obsessed with getting there, but rather the one who takes things as it go.

After all, we’re still going to have the issue of not sleeping the best. Even someone who isn’t trying to optimize sleep is going to have some bad cycles or rough sleeping times. But the question is whether that holds them back or not.

A Lot Of People Have Bad Takes

The YouTuber I mentioned earlier recently released a video on how to attract women in your life beyond having obscene wealth. I haven’t checked his video but I can imagine I’d provide something better than what he has to offer:

  • A good personality.
  • Treating women like they’re people.
  • Spending time with other women as friends.

But what do I know, I’m just a single guy who spends his days reading, writing, and playing video games. And he’s the dude who has the sexy girlfriend he’s been breaking up with and hooking back up again and again.

My point is that we all have bad takes or views on things. I have opinions that people would disagree with or might say are outright bad.

I don’t really know.

But as a general rule, it’s important to keep in mind that people are clueless. They’re making stuff up. They have biases. They have morality. They have standards.

And all of that can culminate in bad takes or bad views.

It’s all the more reason to diversify and reach your own conclusions about what your “optimal” path is. Because that path is your own.

You can take bits and pieces of what you agree and disagree with. But the “optimal” is the path you create and decide rather than emulate word for word.

Because people have bad takes on exactly what you should and shouldn’t do.

Because they don’t have a clue what your life is like, what you’re doing, or even who you are.

So why should you take anyone’s words as the absolute gospel and truth and never question it?

We’re Humans In The End

But probably the biggest reason to not care too much about optimization is the fact that we are humans. You are you and I am me. We’re unique.

But above all, we’re not machines that behave in predictable patterns.

We have routines, sure. But those routines can change on a dime.

If you can’t brush your teeth in the morning because your kid or roommate taking a longer than usual shower you’re not going to melt down and short circuit.

You’re eyes aren’t going to go to see the blue screen of death with the “BrushTeeth.exe failed to boot” scrawled on it.


You’re going to go about your day and brush your teeth later. Or, you know, hover awkwardly at the front of the door, waiting for it to open.

Like any normal person would.

My point is that we’ve gotten so lost in the soup of optimization that we’ve become more process oriented. Yes, routines and habits are good and helpful, and we’re going to have them no matter what.

But there are some things that we should already know.

For example, there are many scientific studies out there that show having good connections with people is a good thing to have.

Yeah, having friends or some kind of community you can go to is pretty good. It helps stave off loneliness, which I hear is pretty bad, according to studies.

But the question is, why do we need these studies?

Isn’t this something we should already know?

Isn’t this something we all generally agree with and strive for in our lives?

I get that forming bonds with people can be tricky. They’re big commitments and demand a lot of time and energy from us. We can’t exactly be friends with everyone either.

But having people we can call friends as a good thing should be something we understand by the time we learn to walk and play with other kids. We don’t need studies to tell us that. Especially ones covering people who live long lives.

I’ve seen enough of my older relatives pass away to know that being in some kind of community and engaging in said community tends to add years to their lives rather than regress.

The reasoning to form bonds or to do a certain act shouldn’t be boiled down to what research or studies find or what some guru tells their audience. Our reasoning for acting should be purely based on that this is what gives us meaning in our lives. This is what makes us human.

As someone who has been in the self-help industry for a while, I get the urge to optimize and improve. I’m all for that. We should be reflecting on ourselves, rediscovering who we are, redefining ourselves, and making changes to ourselves.

We should change and grow.

But obsessing over that point doesn’t help us. We can read up on “life hacks” or “short cuts” to certain things, but there comes a point where those are pointless and cause more of a hinderance to ourselves than a merit.

We need to understand that line, and when we cross that line, pull ourselves back and stop worrying about being “optimal.” We’re only humans.

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