A software engineering wisdom says that premature optimization is the root of all evil. Note the modifier “premature.” Optimization is great; it’s not so great in the prototyping stage though.

This is exactly what I am feeling in life. I have obsessed so much over the optimization of the minutiae of the daily grind that I have forgotten to stop and reflect if I am going in the right direction in the first place.

In the years spent reading self-help and productivity to chase the elusive 4.0 GPA and the prestigious college, peak performance and impressive portfolios, I have never sat down to ask why.

At best I defaulted to the answer of “because I should.” But why? Perhaps because my parents and my teachers and everybody in this soul-sucking society told me to.

“You are smart” always leads to “so you should be successful as a lawyer, engineer at FAANG, or a professor.”

Sometimes we hear certain ideas too often that it gets engrained into our bones and we think it’s ours. And we never realize that we’ve been slowly poisoned, albeit unintentionally, the whole time.

I don’t know anything. I don’t know life at all and I am left confused and tired in a foreign land with no answers.