This is a tough one!
My own mental concept, when I think of these sorts of equations, has shifted a number of times.
Is still shifting, a bit, I think! But it’s time I tried to talk about it, on the blog.
I have not transcribed the stuff I’ve written about minmax life in my discord server, over to the blog- because I’ve realized that what I have in mind when I think of this concept, is something a little different than minmax life, and I would like to start things off in the blog with more clarity than would be imparted by switching the names of things, partway through.
The concept in my mind, when I use the phrase ‘LifeMax Equations’ – is a dual one.
Not an easy thing to describe.
In college, I called the concept a ‘cost/benefit analysis,’ though as I said- the thing I have in my head, for that concept, had evolved, since then. Several times.
The actual math is given in that TED talk, so this is not a thing which is entirely new. More like an adjustment on prior generations of the idea, perhaps!
The duality comes from this: I believe this is both a thing which our brains do, moment to moment – a calculation done on a non-rational level, which is used to basically decide what action we’re going to take, in any given moment; and also a thing which our conscious minds do, usually again without attributing actual numbers- when we are trying to make a decision.
For simplicity’s sake, I am going to focus on the latter aspect, right now- that of conscious decision making.
Everything is connected, nothing exists in a vacuum.
Life is complex. And the given benefits (and costs) of even to a single action, a single choice are rarely, if ever- singular.
I’ll go into more detail about the specifics, later. But the aspect that I would like to discuss, right now- is how I try to maximize the benefits of each action that I take, whenever possible.
When I view my life itself as an ongoing project- an ongoing effort to Build a Better Brooke; then, it becomes easier to work towards an increase in efficacy, an increase in productivity- in all areas of my life.
This includes things such as my relationships with my parents and friends; the overall well-being of my cats, and my parents’ dogs; even how I treat strangers and the kind of impression I give to passersby.
If the the thing I want to do is, say, smoke a cigarette- well, that comes with a number of both physical and mental costs.
Physical costs include the short and long term health effects.
Mental costs include things harder to quantify, such as the financial burden of buying a pack a day, spread out to be a minor but consistent cost with each cigarette smoked; but also the likewise minor, and consistent, cost of the feeling of doing something despite my brain knowing I should not.
So, I try to balance out these costs, by taking a walk around the property, or down the street, when I smoke at the house. This makes me feel better, physically and mentally- and begins to offset some of the inherent costs of smoking itself.
But, then I can add to that offset, even further- I can take my parents’ dogs, with me. They love to go for walks, and appreciate not being cooped up in the fenced off back yard area, or in the house- all day.
Then, I can add to that benefit even further– by actively finding ways, as I walk with them, to better communicate with them.
If the thing I want to do, is make some money- I go online with Uber Eats. But I can do so from my house, instead of driving aimlessly around town, waiting for an order. This allows me to clean, write, play with my cats, or work on the website- all during time I would have spent just…waiting, in town.
And when I am driving, as I work- I can dance.
I’ll talk more about the incredible power of dancing, another time.
But I put on music that is silly, and fun- and I roll my windows down, and dance. Not everyone notices, but those that do- I feel like it brightens their day, just a little bit.
So I am not just working, when I work. I am werking. Finding ways to make the bare fact of delivering food, give me the kinds of paychecks that do not only come in financial resources.
I keep an eye out for unusual characteristics of the city around me; I explore.
With any given action I take, when I am being present- I think about how to make it better.
How to make it more efficient.
I need to go over to the main house for something? Well, aren’t there some of my parents’ dishes I have been meaning to return, anyway? Or maybe my kitten, Sisi- would like to go play with the dogs for a little bit?
I believe that there are always ways to do this thing, to maximize the utility of each moment. It’s just a matter of taking the time to look for them. Having the presence of mind, to remember to look for them.