What are we seeking to optimize?

Credit cards have set up a game. A game where, if you choose to play, will offer flight discounts and cashback with every purchase.

It’s so tantalizing, isn’t it? I mean, Why not? You are going to pay for groceries anyway, so you might as well capitalize on the purchase.

But I think the better question to ask is, “If I am going to say Yes to this, what am I saying No to?”

Credit Card companies have set up a system that will eventually win. They win just after missing one payment. They win when they steal your attention.

And that’s just it. Your attention is worth more than a few flight points.

The simple truth is, you improve what you measure. You also make worse whatever it is we don’t pay attention to. You can’t pay attention to everything.

To optimize is different from efficiency. Efficiency is in simplicity. 

It isn’t about maximizing returns or having the most money as possible in your bank account.

Not having a credit card, freeing yourself from one game, will allow you to play another. You get to choose what that is.