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Obsessing Over Metrics

May 5, 2023 | Daily Trek, Unlearn

Obsessing Over Metrics - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

Obsessing Over Metrics

Obsessing over metrics stems from a desire for control and constant improvement. While numbers are our indicators of progress today, this fixation can easily turn unhealthy. We might lose focus on intangible things that make life richer.

The truth is that metrics dominate a big part of our lives. We obsess over measuring countless life aspects like tracking steps taken and time spent on devices. Our desire for productivity and instant results is also strong. We keep a close eye on Amazon deliveries and online food orders. Tracking these orders satisfies our need for control and instant updates, reflecting our fast-paced, data-driven society.

However, constantly tracking our lives may not be healthy. Focusing solely on visible and measurable aspects limits our perspective. We risk overlooking the bigger picture.

Obsessing over metrics can harm us in several ways. By concentrating solely on numbers, we lose sight of essential intangible aspects, such as relationships, mental wellbeing, and personal growth. Constantly measuring ourselves against metrics creates both stress and anxiety, leading to burnout or feelings of inadequacy if we don’t meet targets and goals.

Additionally, relying too much on metrics restricts our ability to explore new ideas or take risks, as we become more concerned with achieving measurable results. Metrics sometimes provide an incomplete or inaccurate picture, leading us to make harmful assumptions or decisions.

Experiencing the Unexpected

An obsession with immediate results leads to neglecting long-term goals and sustainable strategies. Focusing on external metrics also diminishes internal motivation and genuine passion for activities, making them less enjoyable in the long run.

Rigid goals and quantifiable outcomes can hinder exploration. Brian Eno described culture as “everything we don’t have to do.” Its lack of necessity doesn’t diminish its value.

Culture remains a crucial element of the human experience. “It is not something that we just add on at the end, after we’ve dealt with all those survival problems, but something we keep doing all the time.”

Why must we constantly measure and track everything?

In The Art of Possibility, Rosamund Stone Zander offers insight. In a measurement-driven world, we relentlessly pursue goals. And in the universe of possibility, we establish context and allow life to unfold naturally.”

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