In defense of suboptimal execution.
There’s a lot of talk in the biohacking space about optimizing. People like Bryan Johnson have come out with the blueprint – spending $2 million to optimize his entire body worshipping at the altar of data. His stated goal: “don’t die.”
This isn’t new – Dave Asprey did the first crack at this in the 2010s with Bulletproof and there’s been entire trends around “quantified self”
I think it’s na interesting science experiment and a terrible “blueprint” for life.
If you’re always performing “optimally” – you’re probably not.
If you’re operating at a peak, you’re probably not actually operating at your peak.
I’ve seen people post 30 days straight of 100% sleep scores. Sleep scores are great. We sell a product that helps you improve yours (get it here – it’s awesome).
But if you’re focused on hitting a 100% every day – you might not actually be optimizing for anything.
Optimizing requires you to be building towards a specific goal. A race, an event, a physical goal. Something.
Once you hav the goal in mind, you can work backwards to build out an optimal training schedule.
Then, through training, you optimize for your end goal.
However, if you’r just optimizing to optimize to optimize – you’re being “optimal” according to your watch but you might feel like crap in real life.
This doesn’t mean you’re optimal. It jus means you’re a slave to your whoop, oura, eight sleep.
They’re all great tools, but they should be tools. Not master.
In fact, if you’re just being optimal all the time – you might not even be optimal at all. You’re just achieving your local maximum (and never exce3eding it).
Training involves progressive overload, peaks, and deloads. It is not designed to be optimal every day and you should not be “100% every day”
You have a game plan and you adjust based on the game plan.
You may feel great one day and sluggish the other, but that’s part of the game – you break down to get stronger.
This is how your entire body works.
There are no exceptions. You’re not a robot. You don’t achieve an algorithmic optimum and then repeat that ad-infitum.
In some ways, this actually makes you weaker – because you rely on protocols and optimizations instead of building mental resilience and the power of your will (but I’ll touch on that another day).
The bigger question is: what are you optimizing for precisely?
If it’s longevity (“don’t die”) – that sounds like a good all-around wellness goal, but scientifically – the best way to improve longevity is to reduce caloric consumption and expenditure. If you just want to live a long life – all you have to do is…nothing – just hide away in a cave and move as little as possible. Bears have this down – it’s called hibernation.
And if that’s your goal – fine – but fast forward to your goal – 100, 150, 200 years later or whatever.
Congrats – you made it to 150 and managed to be the most boring 150 year old of all time (because you’ve spent most of the time moderating your caloric expenditures and consumption) – and all your friends are dead.
Cool story bro.
I don’t want to be laying on my death bad looking at my streak of sleep optimization scores and wishing that 85% was a 100% because I missed out on a birthday party.
Personally, I’d rather pack things full of adventures that required superhuman will and required me to dig deep when I thought I was finished, than be obsessed with a wearable streak at all costs that will likely update their algorithm in 12 months.
“Live long and drop dead” sounds like a much better blueprint to me.