To live your life to the fullest, it’s important that you have the right mindset. Your mindset determines how you see things and make decisions. The right mindset can help you achieve your goals, while the wrong one can hinder you.
A key mindset you should have is the optimization mindset.
What is it?
The definition of optimize is “make the best or most effective use of (a situation or resource).” Based on that definition, the optimization mindset is the mindset of wanting to make the best or most effective use of what you have.
If you have this mindset, you won’t be satisfied with normal results. You won’t be satisfied with getting what everyone else is getting. Instead, you’ll want to get the best possible results.
The starting point is to ask yourself: How can I make the most of it? The “it” here can be different things that you want to optimize. Here are some examples:
- How can I make the most of 2015?
- How can I make the most of the book I’m reading?
- How can I make the most of the talk I’m going to give?
As you can see, the question is applicable to many things. Applying the question to different parts of your life will result in optimal outcomes.
Here are a few tips to apply the mindset:
1. Be creative.
Answering the question above requires you to be creative. The more creative you are, the better the answer you will get.
So think outside of the box. Here is a good example.
In finding a solution, don’t expect to find the perfect one right away. Instead, use the power of iteration. Just come up with something, apply it, and learn from the feedback. Over time, you will get better.
3. Beware of diminishing returns.
Always remember that diminishing returns apply. Your first iteration might give you a 20% improvement, but the second iteration might give you just 10%, the third iteration just 5%, and so on. For that reason, it’s important that you know when to stop.
The rule of thumb is stop when the benefit you get is less than the opportunity cost. Ask yourself: would it be better if I used the resources to improve something else? If your answer is yes, then stop.
4. Beware of suboptimization.
Another thing to beware of is suboptimization. Suboptimization means optimizing a small part of something at the expense of the greater part. For instance: you might optimize your exercise routine but neglect your eating and sleeping habits. As a result, your health as a whole will still suffer.
To avoid this, always keep the big picture in mind and optimize your life top-down. Start with balancing the five aspects of your life, and then go to the details.
The optimization mindset can help you live your life to the fullest. It takes time to learn, but it’s totally worth the effort.
Any thoughts? Comments here.
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Though I no longer am able to be in the work force. I’m alive and continue to learn, trying to improve my new life. your e-mails are superlative .Thank you, I’m very appreciative of you !
Thanks for the kind words, Kristen! I wish you all the best!
I like that – pretty straightforward Donald’s style. Iteration has become my favorite approach since last year. I’m not a programmer and I learned that from the startup world.
Recently I’ve found a book called “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” The message of the book boils down in 3 simple sentences:
“The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.”
@Donald, I’ll be happy to read your thoughts on the subject.
That’s an insightful message. Thanks for sharing it!
Glad you found some value.
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