Optimization can sound clinical, robotic even. Britannica defines optimization as a “collection of mathematical principles and methods used for solving quantitative problems in many disciplines, including physics, biology, engineering, economics, and business” and tells us that this term came about in the early 1940’s. Since then we’ve heard car commercials talk about “optimal performance” and medically we know there is an “optimal dose” of medicine for a patient. It is a word we hear often but think very little about, using it as an optional prefix in place of words like “best” or even “adequate”.
Optimal living, however, is much more than words designed to inform or advertise. Optimal living could change your life.
What is Optimal Living?
Optimal Living is consciously and purposefully living your best, most authentic, and healthiest life. Swedish-born Maria Erving says, “An optimal life is when you have an overall sense of contentment, yet you’re driven by that something within you that wants to explore and experience more.” Marcee Cardus cites the book A Philosopher’s Notes: On Optimal Living, Creating an Authentically Awesome Life and Other Such Goodness, Vol. 1 for helping her understand that Optimal Living is an active practice of happiness. Meaning, it is not enough to want to be happy and authentic, it is an active part of your conscious existence. This active and conscious shift towards happiness could include meditation, sticking to a schedule, exercise, dressing authentically instead of by prescribed societal expectations, and even simply learning to love yourself as you are instead of constantly striving to be more. Professionally, an optimized life could be setting attainable professional goals such as saving up enough money to start your own business or pursuing a promotion. Optimal Living is living your life to the fullest and enjoying the rewards.
How Do You Practice Optimal Living?
What makes you happy? Not the hedonistic kind of happiness that can come from things like shopping or parties. What makes you sustainably happy? In other words, picture yourself as the happiest version of yourself. What does that look like? Does this happier version of you get more sleep each night? Or maybe you are more comfortable in your body? Maybe you confronted your boss about un-paid overtime or maybe you’re home every weekend to play with your kids? Optimal Living is supposed to look different for every person because we’re all different and unique. A professional coach can help you determine what is most important to you for your vision of Optimal Living and attain it. As LifeHack describes it, Optimal Living is about living by design instead of living by default. It takes time and dedication to generate a plan for living to the fullest. True happiness comes from a variety of factors, including but not limited to: mental, physical, and spiritual health, life goals, energy levels, love (romantic or platonic), awareness of the self, and security. Finding true happiness and living it authentically could truly change your life! Harvard University conducted a study that showed, “the role of genetics and long-lived ancestors proved less important to longevity than the level of satisfaction with relationships in midlife, now recognized as a good predictor of healthy aging. The research also debunked the idea that people’s personalities “set like plaster” by age 30 and cannot be changed.” This study was groundbreaking for many reasons as it provides evidence that happier people live longer and also that the choice to change your life for the better can start at any age! Choosing to live an optimal life could start today and impact you for the rest of your life.
I’m Ready for Optimal Living! What do I do?
Well, you’ll need help! A professional coach can help you as you make plans for the best version of your life. There are also many different resources available to educate you on Optimal Living. Books like The Optimized Life: A Nutrition Guide for Entrepreneurs and Fear and Other Uninvited Guests: Tackling the Anxiety, Fear, and Shame That Keeps Us from Optimal Living are written by accredited authors who can help you understand the key concepts of Optimal Living. Websites like LifeHack and Optimal Living Dynamics can provide insight. There is even a podcast called Optimal Living Daily that is full of helpful information from a variety of credible sources!
Your optimized life awaits! It’s time to meet a happier, healthier, more authentic version of you.