In one of my (many) posts about optimizing, someone made a comment to the effect of, "What's the point of optimizing everything? Eventually you'll optimize your entire life away and have nothing left to do." That reminded me of what people say when they hear that I'm being cryogenically frozen when I die. Very often they say that they wouldn't want to live forever.
It is very peculiar to me that people would ever want to die, but that's another topic. Even stranger to me is that people somehow believe that the exact right time to die is when they are going to die anyway. Good genes and healthy living, dying at age 95? Perfect. Cancer at 65? Also perfect.
If you would not end your life earlier, and would likely get medical treatment to extend it to a "normal" life expectancy, why would you not also live forever, or at least until you voluntarily died at age 500?
(I should say here that I believe there is only a 5% chance I will actually be preserved and resurrected in the future, so you can save the comments about why it won't work)
The same is true of optimizing. Would you intentionally add hassles to your life to slow you down? If not, do you find it peculiar that your life has exactly the correct amount of hassle in it?
It seems that most people assume defaults are correct for them. I always assume the exact opposite. That's not to say that I don't eventually find that some defaults are correct for me. But usually I find that the reasons a default exists are not consistent with what matters to me. For example, some people say that they'll be bored when they're old or they'll be too sad that everyone they know has died. I am never bored and can't imagine the joy of spending time with those still alive will ever be eclipsed by the sadness of losing people.
It's important to challenge our beliefs constantly. The defaults that society assumes for you are the low hanging fruit. If you're not questioning all of those, then will you ever question the harder things like : Should I quit doing this thing that I really like? Do I need to reinvent myself or part of my life? How have I changed, and how should that change my daily life?
Photo is a crazy act from Mystere in Vegas. It's one of my favorite Cirque du Soleil shows.
Short post today because I'm trying hard to get my next book finished. Way overdue by my own standards.
Ok folks... I'm gonna break it down for you Dr. Phil style today, and talk about happiness.
Now, first of all - I don't see why happiness is always priority number one. "Do whatever makes you happy", they say. "Yeah, but is she HAPPY?". Who says this is the holy grail? Personally, I think giving Tynan presents should be the end goal. "Do whatever makes Tynan get more presents" and "Yeah, but is she giving Tynan presents?" both sound pretty sweet to me.
But we live in a world where happiness is number one. They don't ask if happiness makes you money, but if money makes you happy. So, let's get happy.
One thing that annoys me highly is when people say "I understand." They most certainly do not. This has come up the most in my medical care. They think they know my preferences and wishes, but in fact, they do not. They know my parents wishes and they assume I agree. This is not to say I hate my parents. I love them. I would just like to be a part of the conversation. That's all. Then the question arises, who has the final say? Is it me? my parents? Or maybe my doctor? This is still an open question for me.