Optimize or Satisfy

More often than not, we are left with less than what we desire in terms of money, resources, opportunities and most important commodity in today’s lifestyle: Time. Obviously there is no infinite supply of these either and no trick hidden in someone’s sleeves to multiply them effortlessly. Be it money or resources or opportunities in life or time, increasing their availability always leaves us with a bit of a vaguely jumbled jigsaw puzzle with some of the pieces glued in wrong positions and we have to assemble them all to make sense. The condition is more chronic in between ages of 20-40, where each one of the mentioned asset is required to be spent judiciously to acquire more of it. Funny it might sound but that is the truth awaits for all of us.

Possible scenario is that you work hard day and night, create lots of money and opportunity but lose time in process! You might look forward to saving time hence sometimes losing opportunities and even tolerating financial loses! You might pursue developing resources but then again you might be losing both time, and opportunities and sometimes even money too! It all might appear like there is no victory lap in this marathon and all the participants will either complete the race in a lot of time(which is meaningless for a race) or might exhaust even before completing. So how to come out of this Chakravyuh without becoming another Abhimanyu?

There are three possible answers to it. You can choose either the first or the second or both. It largely depends upon your mindset and approach towards life as whole. We will discuss them one by one in very brief. First plausible solution is: Satisfaction. Be satisfied with what you have. Don’t desire for more than what you can get easily. As Buddhism preaches: “Desire is the root cause of all evil.” The gravity of the meaning is as immense as the simplicity of its expression. When you are satisfied (I am referring to true satisfaction), you are able to stay happy in whatever amount of the 4 things you receive naturally (without much extraordinary efforts involved). I am not only referring to just “staying happy even in deficiency” but also to “state of indifference in case of surplus availability”. Such people are often termed either “chillax” or “down to earth”. Humbleness (real one) is a great by-product of Satisfaction.

Second possible solution: Optimize. Make best use of everything. Economics is a very good subject to learn the fundamentals of optimization, but even without studying it, a person at some time or other, learns how to optimize. Optimization is basically making the best or most effective use of the time, money, resources and opportunity you have. But then how is it different from being efficient?Although both work with hand-in-hand,  Efficiency is mainly producing more output from a given input.

Sometimes you might get tempted to invest all you have and with increased efficiency, you might get maximum output. But optimization indicates about investing what is required keeping in mind the desired output which might reduce your investment by some fraction, hence keeping the efficiency same(let us say highest possible) yet giving you freedom to invest the remaining “saved” fraction of investment into some other venture. Yet, you might not be very satisfied with the result obtained and would still desire for more even though you have ticked all the boxes of “necessary and, even most of the times, sufficient conditions” for all the things in hand. They are often called “competitive breed”.

Third possible solution: Both! Optimize and then be satisfied. My personal favorite! A person only satisfied with natural proceedings of events around him might not even try his hand in optimizing things and increasing efficiency in the process. Another person might not think about acquiring satisfaction over his exploits from the battle of optimization but would still crave for more such battles to keep extracting benefits and increasing time, money, resources and opportunities hence losing true happiness and without self-control, even opting for incorrect paths to reach to the goal.

The third type of person would optimize as much as he is physically and mentally allowed and then would sit back and actually enjoy his extracts with the feeling of satisfaction and content and not drooling over more! Thus satisfaction kind of restricts optimization to permissible levels and hence providing you the best of both worlds! Such persons are branded as “smiling conquerors”. Staying hungry to optimize and yet be satisfied from the bottom of the heart is an amazing art and very few can master it. But those who have done so, are known to strike a great balance between the 4 essential commodities and peace and happiness of mind.

So which of the three solutions will work for you: Satisfaction, Optimization or Both?

Bona Vale 😀 (Good Bye in Latin 🙂 )





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