Master Optimisers Are The Happiest People On Earth

Even the most capable must learn to do the most with their capacity

Marti Purull

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a stressed out computer hugs an overwhelmed human, minimal, sleek, digital art — by DALL·E

The laptop I use for work has a limited amount of memory. I have noticed because it has begun to operate sub-optimally. Curiously, it does the job without issue until, all of a sudden, it slows down to a crawl that would struggle to fit in the 1990s. As a former colleague used to say, ‘It’s so slow, it’s going backwards.’ There are only so many processes a limited amount of RAM can take. Once it crosses the threshold, the machine breaks down.

Most of us will have seen the human equivalent of this behaviour. Indeed, we have probably experienced it ourselves. We take on tasks and responsibilities until we reach our limit. Like computers, it is not that we stop accepting work but that we stop working altogether. The stress is overwhelming, and the consequences can be tragic. In the long term, we may believe that we aren’t as good as those we witness coping with as much or more of a load as we do. We look at them breezing through life with a smile on their faces and not a hint of anxiety to show for their achievements. However, I don’t think high-achievers always have a superior capacity; I believe their ability to prioritise and organise their activities sets them apart.

Waiters have always fascinated me. Especially, those who can remember the first and second courses, dessert and drink options for every member of a table of ten. Have you seen these heroes in action? They don’t note things down. They listen to you attentively, smile and perhaps even make a witty remark about a relevant circumstance. At times, I have been certain they couldn’t get every order right, and yet they never missed a side dish. Nevertheless, once the tab is paid and closed, if I try asking them about what wine the table had, they will admit they have no idea, no recollection, not anymore. The tab is closed, and the space in memory is freed for subsequent punters. These professionals are master optimisers.

Naturally, the money we make determines our choices. Different budgets call for different lifestyles. Yet, many people live more comfortably on lower budgets than some of their recklessly wealthier counterparts. For instance, as a student with a well-paying weekend job, a cheap…

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Marti Purull

I’m a musician, but I think every day. So I write every day. Thoughts. Reflections. Life.