The Beginning & Not Perfectionism

Welcome to Lifestyle Optimization. 

In case the website name isn’t obvious, this blog is about self-improvement. Specifically, my self-improvement.

I want to write about a lot of important stuff (at least, it's important to me). Topics such as:

  • FIRE / personal finance

  • plant-based or mostly so

  • calisthenics or other physical activity

  • minimalism

  • mental health

  • anti-racism

This blog has everything to do with self-help. If you’re like me, you think this means getting to be 8/10, 10/10 or even 11/10 at everything you pursue but I can assure you that’s just crazy talk. My goal is to be 5/10 only at things that matter and to be 7/10 at the most important things, such as my job. Aiming higher than that is the path to self-loathing and ruin.

Not Perfectionism

I’ll spend a moment explaining why I find 5/10 to be sexy as fuck.

In school, we’re taught that 5/10 is a garbage score. You barely passed. Instead, you should do the absolute best you can do at all times on all subjects. That emotional line of thinking won’t work here. Explained:

I suffer from all-or-nothing thinking, also called black and white thinking. If something isn’t ‘this’ then it has to be ‘that’ and so forth.

The problem with this thought process is when it relates to self-help and therefore self-worth. If I cannot accomplish ‘this’ to my 10/10 standard (perfectionism), then I am ‘that’ substandard human (worthless). Hence the self-loathing and ruin I mentioned earlier.

So the trick is to aim for 5/10 - or in plain speak, good enough. Being below 5 sounds uncomfortable and allows you to be taken advantage of in society and aiming higher distorts your view of reality and yourself. I don’t think I naturally picked up on perfectionist thinking, I believe we live in a culture of such pursuits and I simply applied it so far that it broke my spirit and my mind.

Perhaps it will be difficult to convince you that aiming high is detrimental because of this culture. Afterall, I’m convinced you clicked on this blog with the intention of improving yourself. Perhaps you already see yourself as a 5/10 and wish to be 8/10 at FIRE and other things I talk about henceforth.

It is worth noting that what is 8/10 for you could be what I consider 5/10. Maybe my standards are so high that I artificially lower my number when others would peg me much higher. I’ll admit that I don’t know. These are variables.

What I do know is that the path forward holds a grey area. So many optimizations made to our lives are not black and white. We cannot proceed under the false promise of an end-state with eternal bliss and the envy of others. You will forever climb the mountain with despair rather than hope.

Nothing can promise 10/10. Aim lower. Feel better.

~ Ryan Myricks


I hope you enjoyed what I had to write. Below is the final update concerning Canadian FIRE, my old stomping grounds. If you have no idea what that is, skip it.

About Canadian FIRE
If you’ve followed me here from my previous blog (found here), a few things to note:

  • Canadian FIRE won’t update any further. That’s why I killed it.
  • There will be lots of additional FIRE content on this blog.
  • I thought I was more or less done talking about FIRE but I have a whole new bug up my ass. So there is a lot of new FIRE content coming.
  • The original intentions I wrote about when moving blogs are a great example of distorted thinking. Lifestyle Optimization is going to be a lot more like Canadian FIRE than I thought it would be.
  • Follow that link above to see my previous work. I’ll be taking the good ones and posting them here.
That’s it. Hopefully you find something here you like. Thanks for sticking with me.
First Picture: Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash
Second Picture: Screenshot of the header of my old blog