Not Optimism, Optimal Behavior

Not Optimism, Optimal Behavior January 1, 2013

Last year, Ray Bradbury died and when he did I came across something great he said in an interview that’s worth living by day by day and being reminded of on the first day of a new year:

I don’t believe in optimism. I believe in optimal behavior. That’s a different thing. If you behave every day of your life to the top of your genetics, what can you do? Test it. Find out. You don’t know—you haven’t done it yet. You must live life at the top of your voice! At the top of your lungs shout and listen to the echoes. I learned a lesson years ago. I had some wonderful Swedish meatballs at my mother’s table with my dad and my brother and when I finished I pushed back from the table and said, God! That was beautiful. And my brother said, No, it was good. See the difference?

Action is hope. At the end of each day, when you’ve done your work, you lie there and think, Well, I’ll be damned, I did this today. It doesn’t matter how good it is, or how bad—you did it. At the end of the week you’ll have a certain amount of accumulation. At the end of a year, you look back and say, I’ll be damned, it’s been a good year.

It’s all about doing your best everyday. That option is the best that is available to you to do on any given day. Let the days add up on their own.

Oh yeah, and whatever you do–don’t tell anyone your New Year’s Resolutions.

And try procrastinating better. Personally, over the years I’ve learned to be the most productive by focusing on doing the good things I’m not obligated to be doing whenever I get a chance.

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