Optionality Is Not Actuality
People will remember us for our actual commitments, not our potential options.
Sometimes we get stuck in the option-maximization cycle. We focus on acquiring options and forget that we actually have to realize a few options if we want to do something meaningful with our lives.
In an essay entitled “Having Kids,” Paul Graham writes:
“I remember perfectly well what life was like before. Well enough to miss some things a lot, like the ability to take off for some other country at a moment's notice. That was so great. Why did I never do that? See what I did there? The fact is, most of the freedom I had before kids, I never used. I paid for it in loneliness, but I never used it. I had plenty of happy times before I had kids. But if I count up happy moments, not just potential happiness but actual happy moments, there are more after kids than before. Now I practically have it on tap, almost any bedtime.”
Sometimes we get so focused on having options that we lose sight of what’s real. Life is not about having as many options as possible but investing in a few and building something great.