Odes Philosophy

Ode to Optimizing

Optimizing is not just improving, but finding the best in something. It is taking a situation and bringing it to its full potential. In this way, perfection can be attained, for I believe in perfection. Perfection does not necessarily mean to me what it means to most. For me, it is finding exactly the right place in the world. That does not mean it is entirely bereft of irregularities, but those irregularities ameliorate within the context. By optimizing, we seek to find a better place for some thing or circumstance. It can be crossing the street to have a beautiful, peaceful walk home rather than taking the shortest route. It can be taking the perfect angle across an open space to arrive where you want at the time you want to. It can be rearranging your closet so that you can move smoothly up the shelves as you dress or down as your preference. It is creating a space next to your bed for the book you are reading or the light switch. It is labeling a light switch that you never remember so you don’t have to worry about it or lose time switching each in turn hoping you will find the correct one. In many ways, I try to optimize things in my life for convenience, to make them as easy and efficient as possible. I try to find ways and places that things can progress smoothly and logically. It may seem at first to be obsessively compulsive, but much more often I find it is setting things up in such a way that you can forget entirely about being compulsive with those things. It is putting in a small amount of effort to save myself so much more effort and obsession later. It is rearranging things so that they will not provide obstacles later. It is planning, but it is also revision. It is diligent trial and error. It is sweating the details. Then, it is stepping back to observe the whole. It is questioning traditions until they are either acceptable in my eyes or can be thrown to the winds. It is going out of my way to make life so much more enjoyable than the token effort it took to optimize an activity. I have rarely found myself regretting a system that I have optimized. It brings a sense of pleasure in just seeing things work out as well as they can. It is a joy to watch people move smoothly through something you have prepared without any sense of the attention to detail that went into making it so. By optimizing the things you do, you show care for them and portray the better parts of your personality. You are showing the things you care to be constructive and creative with. You gain a sense of things that are truly important to you, and by attaining optimization, you know that you have put in all the effort that you could into that thing. It is the difference between being an amateur and a professional.