The optimization trap

by Yann Girard

When you constantly read the same life hack posts everybody else is reading, you’ll be doing the same stuff everybody else is doing and you’ll become like everybody else. Sooner or later.

When you constantly read the same books (or websites) everybody else is reading, you’ll become like everybody else. You’ll be thinking like everybody else. And when everybody thinks the same way that’s pretty much the end of creativity of innovation.

When you apply for the same jobs everybody else is applying to, you’ll automatically have to fit in. You’ll have to meet the criteria or you’re out. You have to fit in the box. Your box? Probably not.

When you’re obsessed with getting feedback, you’ll sooner or later stop doing everything that defines you. Like that cute giggle of yours. Or that loud laugh of yours. Or the way you sneeze. You know. All of these small things that define you as a person. The things the client can’t stand.

When you check your analytics all the time and only 2% of the people finish reading your blog posts, you’ll feel like something is wrong. And you’ll change the way you write. The way you speak. And your voice. To please more people. To increase that number.

But whenever you try to please everybody, the boss, the client, the readers, your mom, your dad or society, you’ll loose your true voice.Your true inner self. You’ll lose your true fans. Those 2%. And you’ll end up sounding like everybody else who sounds like everybody else.

And then you’ll be competing with everybody else who’s competing with everybody else. And this competition is getting tougher and tougher. Because more and more people from all over the globe join the race of fitting into boxes.

So every once in a while try to read outside that box. Try to live outside that box for a while. And try to work outside that box every once in a while. Make sure that the ladder you’re climbing up is your ladder. And not someone else’s ladder.

Try to create your own box (or your own set of boxes) before you get trapped in a box you never really wanted to fit in the first place..

More recent articles:

Spread it

If it feels right

The reading myth

I’m guilty

Why I stopped reading in 2015

This will change the world

I’ve lost 200k following my passion.

Permission to think

Do more bad work

Don’t focus on what people say

How to figure yourself out

Allow it


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