RE: Optimizing for the Maximum

March 8th, 2013

My good friend Bob with some good common sense: Optimizing for the Maximum.

I think people like options. They like possibilities. At least, I know I do. It’s nice to know that whether you want to or not, the choice exists.

G.O.B.: I should be in charge. I’m the older brother.

Michael: Do you even want to be in charge?

G.O.B.: No… but I’d like to be asked!

Arrested Development S1:E2

Bob does a great job focusing on needs vs wants in his post. I really like the thought of planning for the 3%. That’s powerful.

I think you can take it a step further, though. How often are we planning for the 0%?

Now, I’m not talking disaster planning. We all hope that we’ll never need to use the survival kit in the trunk of our cars. We all hope that our spare tire won’t be necessary, but it’s good to have along just in case.

Yet, there are a lot of non-essentials that we plan for. We worry about possible problems before they even exist. We’re thinking about crossing bridges before we’ve even planned out a route. We don’t even have a map and we are worried about getting over rivers.

The thing about life is that you have to live for the now. I’m not advocating that planning is a waste of time, but choices need to be made based on actuals, not possibles.

And yes, not all your choices are going to turn into ideal situations, but that’s what life is about. Making mistakes and being a bit of an idiot.