I get it. You want everything to be more streamlined, more efficient, speedier, more productive, more profitable, and absolutely optimal.
I want that, too.
Yet in the constant striving for the best, we can run ourselves ragged.
So how do we shoot for excellence without ending up in a puddle on the floor each night after trying so damn hard to make it all the best?
First, we realize that optimal doesn’t happen without rest.
If we use the body as a metaphor (which is always my favorite place to start) and we look at fertility, it’s super obvious: our biology doesn’t allow us to create if we’re not well rested and if there aren’t adequate resources to nourish our bodies so we can nourish a baby.
Why do we need creativity for optimization?
Because in order for things to work at their best, we need our best ideas.
Ever tried to solve a tricky problem when you’re sleep-deprived? If Mike asks me a question at bedtime, sometimes as simple as which flight time to book for an upcoming trip, I simply don’t have the bandwidth to identify what would be optimal.
You gotta have rest to optimize.
Next up is space.
Friction frequently comes from trying to do too much.
Ever tried to fit a day into an hour? Not a lot of flow in that.
Cancelling, decommitting, saying no, and taking things off your plate instantly leans your life toward optimal.
You can stop trying to time-hack and fit more into the space you have.
It’s way easier to find space by taking stuff out than by adding it in.
And finally, go deeper.
Ever tried to start meditating or exercising or drinking green smoothies only to find that 3 days into your new routine your fresh habits have already gotten lost in the shuffle?
That’s because our actions stem from our beliefs. About ourselves. About the world. About what’s possible for us.
So if you want to optimize your fitness routine, your nutrition, your productivity, your marriage, your parenting, your sex life, or even your closet, go deep and ask yourself what you truly believe.
Your beliefs are running you. Habits stem from beliefs. Your daily life stems from your habits.
Want new habits? Dig up the old beliefs and let them go.
This is sometimes easier said than done, but sometimes not.
The least exhausting way I’ve found to change a limiting belief is to consciously look for examples that prove the belief wrong.
When I gather enough examples, presto chango: the belief is gone.
For example, I used to think you could either be financially successful or in a loving romantic partnership. Not both. And I had TONS of examples proving this belief correct.
But the truth is I wanted both abundance and love. At the same time.
So instead of continuing to gather examples of single, financially successful people or poor partnered people, I decided to look for examples of people in relationships like the one I wanted to have who weren’t struggling financially.
And wouldn’t you know it, once I started looking, the examples were everywhere.
Not long after that I met my husband, with whom I currently enjoy financial abundance and a beautiful marriage.
Coincidence? I think not.
Next time you decide you want to optimize an area of your life, instead of hitting overdrive and trying to make things better through effort alone, try the following:
When you follow this path, you let optimal happen instead of making optimal happen.
What area of your life could use some optimization? Which one of the suggestions above resonates with you the most? How could you apply it to your situation? Tell me in the comments!