Optimizing, but for what?

I was recently browsing Twitter when I came across a tweet I identified with.

Then I came across this reply and something clicked in my head. Loudly.

Being that I’d never heard of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development I did some quick and admittedly shallow reading on the subject, which really made the whole thing resonate more with me. So while the subject itself was new to me (although they’re pretty similar to Kegan stages at a high level and the first four levels of Erikson’s stages are based on Freud’s theory of psychosexual development) my reading left me with the feeling that they’re mostly accurate, at least in how they apply to my life so far. Most especially when I think back on where I’ve been at various stages to date.

Which brings me to why I read the reply multiple times; my life is very different now than it was three months ago, in ways that tend to catch me off guard when I least expect it. There are concrete things like eating healthier and the fact that I can’t do as much mental math as I used to be able to, and there are also these weirdly vague things that I’m just wrapping my head around, like the whole “Why am I striving so hard every day to move a percentage point? How is this really helping anyone?”

Honestly I don’t know why anymore, but my job consists of tasks that are pretty basic for me so I am still getting up every day and putting in the effort, but it also highlights my long held (although stronger lately) desire to get out of tech and into… something else. I don’t know what just yet, but I’m concerned that I might be optimizing my life – financially, physically, and mentally – for a long term path I truly don’t want to take anymore.

All I know for certain at this point is that the rest of my life isn’t going to be centered around technology, that’s for sure. It will most likely be technology adjacent because leveraging technology to improve the human condition is where I’m beginning to find my passion.

Hence the question I’ve asked myself today: “I’m definitely optimizing my life, but for what?”

I’m sure I’ll find an answer eventually.

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