I have been holding one question: what makes a good life? One of the conclusion I had was: “seek pain, amplify pleasure“.
The idea behind it is life is better when you optimise for range. Aim to get the high highs and low lows.
You feel more alive by having as many days as possible filled with new experience and range of feelings. Range triggers emotion, emotion triggers memories, memories etches meanings. You perceive a week filled with novel experience to be longer than a week going with the motion and routine.
I have been tracking my life stats, events, and ratings in multiple life areas for 18 months now. I keep track of sleeping hours, sleeping duration, score of mental clarity, score of physical capacity, what I consume that day, what I produced that day, how the day job went, what exercise I did that day, what I ate, any note or particulars about that day, and the day rating (1 – 5).
I notice that I have three types of “best days”, the days I rate as >= 4:
- When I feel recharged and full of energy. Mentally and/or physically. Able to go in flow and be fully present and “lived” the day.
- When I done a little bit of everything. The boring “been there done that” stuff, but in a “have your cake but eat it too” sense. E.g. a little bit of socialising, a little bit of family time, crushed it at work, did a little bit of side hustling, a little bit of grooming, ate well, broken a sweat.
- When I have the most range of polarising feelings or variation of new events. Travelling, crossed off a bucket list item, received a very bad news and/or very good news.
Now I see these “optimise for the extremes” it is a rather damaging narrative if applied to eating. You fast, and then you binge. You went for the deliberate scarcity, then you indulge in the artificial abundance.
Is eating the only place this idea could trigger problems?
Perhaps moderation is key? It doesn’t seem sustainable to have these fluctuation?
But moderation is boring. We need novelties. We seek new things, new experiences, new perspective, new goals.
So the solution is to have…. moderate extremeties?