Being an Optimizer

Lately, I’ve been exploring with friends the topic of being an “optimizer.” That may be some coined term for some field of study, but I just mean it the way it sounds–someone who is deeply concerned with optimizing her life experience. I feel like this life is short and I want to make the most of it (even though I know I don’t matter in the grand scheme of anything and “most” is a relative term). I can’t help it; It’s in my genes. Or rather, it’s a part of my pitta predominant constitution.

Are you an optimizer? Well, are words like EFFICIENT, COST-EFFECTIVE, PRODUCTIVE, SUMMARY and THOROUGH some of your favorite? Hmmmm….you love bullet points, don’t you? (So do I 🙂 ) You must have a good degree of pitta energy in your life.

So what this looks like on a daily basis is someone who tries to figure out the best way to approach everything from grocery shopping to raising kids (=planner). On a broader pattern level, we may easily get

  • too focused on what needs improvement (and spend less time appreciating what is good as it is)
  • so lost in the intricacies of analysis that we miss the big picture, or how things FEEL
  • to a point where we accept situations that aren’t really the best for us because we feel super comfortable fixing things (optimizing them).
  • to forget that we don’t really control anything but our intention
  • all of the above are signs of pitta imbalance

But I like being efficient…

Well, I  don’t see any need to change who we are. Rather, we need to accept our nature and learn to work with it.

Healthy Boundaries for your intensity: I simply create healthy boundaries for  pitta coming into my life  (work stays at the office, can’t be productive at certain times, etc.)

Get out of your head: We can also implement certain checks for our pitta tendencies in the mind (overanalysis, self criticism, not being able to turn off the to-do list) Helpful approaches include talking things over with someone, journaling, daily affirmations, P reducing pranayam. Sometimes, it’s less heating to take one step towards resolution instead of resolving the whole situation.

What you do to keep pitta in balance can be completely individualized, and this will be natural when you are in touch with your pitta nature and what it feels like when it is imbalanced (excess) or not.

Honor your feelings: For me, I’m learning that if a situation has some reason for hesitation within me, it likely is not the best situation for me. Instead of trying to make it work, I’m choosing to have faith that the universe has a more optimal situation than I can design. It’s not giving up; it’s assessing the fit and having the courage to move on when a life situation is not fitting my desired experience. Moving on can mean changing the way you approach the same situation, not just abandoning it.

These three practices reduce the amount of work (pitta) in my life. I do less fixing, less determining, less optimizing. I focus that energy instead on learning how to relax, and receive, and attract my desired experiences.  (much more efficient :))


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