10/07/2022

You can’t optimize without optimism

We like making things better. It’s a hallmark of who we are at Love and Science, but it’s innately human too. Everyone desires optimization, but to be effective, you also have to be optimistic. 

I don’t think anyone has ever accused me of being particularly positive. I’ve always said that negativity is where it’s at. You’re either right or pleasantly surprised – what’s not to love?

Regardless of generally being of a sunny or dark disposition, resilience and positive adaptability are largely common human traits. We tend to believe in better. 

Optimism and positivity aren’t the same thing. While some definitions of optimism indicate a sense of already having arrived at the “best”, there are deeper meanings lurking as well. 

OPTIMISM Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.

– Oxford English Dictionary

Better > Best

When using optimism to power optimization, you need to believe there’s a better. Optimization, rooted in the latin optimus, meaning best, indicates the process of making something better. 

In the 19th century, when “optimization” was first rising in the general consciousness, achieving perfection might have felt more possible than it does today. When we optimize today, we don’t yet know the future capacity of the mode. A “perfect” solution to a problem will eventually age out when the formation of the future is as fast-paced as we’ve come to expect.

Stay focused or lose traction

Even though we believe optimism is a somewhat natural state, we’ve found we have to take precautions to stay optimization focused in the face of constantly evolving technology and potential. For our organization, that can be seen in two of our core values:

Honest Optimism

We’re honest about the situation and optimistic about the solutions. Optimization isn’t really pollyanna despite the belief in what’s possible. First, you’ve got to acknowledge reality if you want to change it for the better.

Progress over Perfection

An optimizer’s work is never done. There’s no utopian completion to the work we’re doing today to improve our lot. Once the first vision of better is achieved, there’s another layer of opportunity waiting to be explored. 

Positive adaptability indicates that even in the face of dire straits and significant trauma, human beings are still apt to believe in a better future. And it’s our job to help build it wherever we can.

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