Figuring out what works in life


What's optimal?

You'll hear people claiming certain ways of doing things as being optimal.

It's optimal to have at least 8 hours of sleep every day.

It's optimal to drink coffee after breakfast.

It's optimal to eat 4 times a day.

It's optimal to use a data-fetching library in React applications.

People love to say things like these because they sound like a recipe. Do X to get Y. It's simple and predictable. It feels right.

There's nothing wrong with that. People can say whatever they want, but whether or not you'll believe it is up to you and your capacity to reason about stuff.

From my experience, everything claimed to be optimal probably won't be optimal for scenarios that deviate from the norm. What's optimal for an office worker is not optimal for a weightlifter. And vice versa.

Optimal is not universal. It's not 4 meals a day, and it's not 8 hours of sleep.

Optimal could (and should) vary from person to person, from situation to situation. Finding optimality for your case is a process that involves lots of thinking and trial/error iterations and less consuming what other people think is best.

Do experiment with your boundaries. They will most likely be different from what's preached to be optimal.

  • Created on: 04 Jan, 23