Tuesday, April 10

Objective Functions in Life

During my years in university, my focus was on this area of Maths called Operations Research. It teaches you how to optimise your goal (max profit, minimise cost etc...) while subjected to various constraints (labour, material constraints).

Then, every variable had a number attached to it, so solving it was easy.

We are all applying Operations Research in real-life too in some sense. Just maybe without the numbers.

Maximise Happiness (objective function)
What you spend on <= What you earn (Constraint 1)
How you spend your life <= How long you live (Constraint 2)

(There may be more constraints. Feel free to share with me in the "Comments")

Being different pieces of individuals, we all have different objective functions.
Basically a mix and match of some of these factors.
(1) Be at ease with yourself (the monk)
(2) Earn as much money as possible (the mercenary)
(3) Live as long as possible (the tortise)
(4) Having as much satisfaction as possible (the man with purpose)
(5) Learn as much as possible (the guru)
(6) Having more time to do your own stuff (the timekeeper)
(7) Spending more time with kids and family (the homelover)
(8) Doing what he is more interested in (err.... the lovemaker?)
(9) Having as much friends as possible in a circle (the social escort)

As the search goes on for the "perfect" job, one may stop to ponder... what is the kind of job you are looking for? Some are in it for more money. And some are in it for job satisfaction.

Objective functions change throughout life, as you move from phases of life.

What used to be important in the past may no longer be valued as much today.
What you want today may just be a reminder of what will be redundant years down the road.

Do you think you have what you want but do not need?
Do you think you have what you need but do not want?
For now? Or for future?

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