The principle of optimal hangs heavy over my life.
My purchases should be available for the optimal price. My investments need to have optimal gains. My technology should have the optimal features. If I had children, I would need to be the optimal parent. I should use the optimal services for my needs. On many questions, my strategy needs to be, first, find the optimal.
By searching for optimal solutions to apply to a problem, it implicitly forces me to think about money and other numeric scores. The optimal can make sense when cost is the primary concern. But what is the price of that optimal cost?
An alternative to optimal is good enough.
Good enough doesn’t look for the cheapest article at Amazon but considers how the purchase affects others. It doesn’t ask what the best way is to store and prepare an ingredient when I plan my menu. Good enough lets me find a service that does it well.
Good enough means that I have more freedom to take into account other considerations. Looking for the optimal avoids asking the questions that make me human.
Looking for the optimal seduces me to expect the illusion of perfection.