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Surface Area

life Jan 19, 2024

Surface area isn't just about lawns and rectangular spaces; it's a profound concept that applies to our daily existence. Imagine life as a surface, each element, house, friends, money, and beliefs, adding to that surface area. More isn't always merrier. It's just more work, both mentally and physically.

When you acquire another house or befriend more people, it's not a linear expansion - it's slightly above that. Hiring assistants and delegating tasks might seem like a solution, but it's just scaling the surface area of responsibility, cleverly disguised by abstraction. Beliefs, too, contribute to this expanding surface – defending and maintaining a broader mental landscape. When you hold something as true, you continue to find reinforcement for that belief (yes, this leads to bias also, but that's a different post).

The insight here is that our constant sense of being busy, stressed, and behind is not due to lack of time but an excess of surface area. We mistakenly crave more time when what we truly need is more focus. Your surface area becomes your identity. The 'busy person'. I hear it all the time; "How are you doing?" "Man, I'm busy!" is a pretty regular interaction. Yet, the happiest people, whether billionaires or close friends, often keep their surface area small. They focus on a few things, and in doing so, they find a way to maximize enjoyment with minimal effort - a lesson in life optimization.