The danger of local optima

A lot of the time things get worse before they get better.  That does not excuse you from making progress.

The most dangerous moment is when you reach a local optimum and get complacent.  The global optimum is out there, but to get there you will have to get through some sub-optimal points.  Don’t be so attached to your comfortable local optimum that you stop moving forward to the long term better thing.

Yes, life is good and you should appreciate what you have.  But at the same time, never forget that if you are taking the circuitous route, this rest stop, this scenic vista, is not the end of the line.  There is more to go.  You must go on.  To dally, to stand still, is dangerous, is death.

The danger lies in getting complacent and so comfortable (in eating the lotus) that you forget what you originally came here for.  You forget the dream, the beautiful impossible thing that lit a fire in your soul and made your heart sing.  Life is not meant to be a gray plod, and it’s also not meant to be this bland mediocrity.  You must keep taking risks and adding color.  You must not lose sight of the most important thing.  You must not allow yourself to be led astray, nor to be cosseted to sleep.  Keep moving, and seize those moments of extreme lucidity (in fact, introduce hardship and hard conversations into your life to elicit those doses of harsh reality).  The aim is to have lived a full and meaningful life, and not to regret what you didn’t do when you lie at death’s door.  Don’t forget, and step out of that local optimum.

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