Maximizing the big through the small

When you’re a maximizer, second best is not good enough. Good enough isn’t good enough.

It’s not a materialistic thing at all. And it’s not snobbish. It’s a question of aesthetics and value. Why waste this precious life surrounding us with anything less? It’s greatly motivating and uplifting to surround yourself with the best there is, and help make it even better.

I think it’s the same reason some people dive into the arts—poetry, paintings, music. On Friday, I saw Majbritte Ulrikkeholm on TV talk about her need to read William Blake at the end of her day. That’s exactly the feeling I’m talking about.

Me, I find that same kind of satisfaction in a really well thought out business model, in well performed music, in a slick software user interface, in a superbly written article about Ketchup in the New Yorker, in a perfect piece of Parmigiano, a well-executed business move, in an outstanding show by Eddie Izzard, in a beautiful piece of clothing, in a uber-functional perambulator, or in the Californian coast line (yeah, this isn’t man-made like the others, but whoever did it did a pretty impressive job. Kudos!).

It’s not the thing in itself that excites me. It’s what it says about the people who did it. And what that, in turn, says about the world we live in. I’m moved that they care; that they make an effort to do whatever it is that they do, to do it as perfect as is humanly posible. It helps me feel connected, that others care, too, and it helps me believe that there is a something higher, something to strive for in this world.

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