When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. Humans can be influenced with incentives. Working a job in a perfect example. You go to work because you want to get paid, the incentive to working is getting paid. If you didn't get paid, you probably wouldn't do the work. This applies even more well when you consider jobs where compensation is tied directly to how hard you work. The harder you work, the more you get paid. But what people don't realize is the trade-offs you make by chasing further compensation. Compensation is a measure, it has become your target. By chasing compensation you may forgo the things that really matter to you, like spending time with your family.

This applies to almost every area of life. Chasing a singular metric, trying to maximize that will cause you to pay less attention to other factors. If your goal is to chop down a forest, what's stopping you from blowing up the forest to achieve the target? This in an extreme example but it's meant to explain why you need to consider all factors before engaging in something.

These metrics are all abstractions. They are targets set in our minds that we deem are important. This seems to be an essential trait of being human, placing value on one thing over another, when reality might say they are equal. We treat our families better than we treat strangers although both are human individuals.

It just seems interesting on how we structure our lives. Reality marches onwards, always changing but never considering a difference between past, future, and present. But we decipher meaning from this. We take something plain and give it meaning. We take trees and turn them into paper. We take minerals and turn it into jewelry, computer parts, and medical devices.

It sounds like a basic observation, and it is. But it's meant to say you never have to stay within bounds. Boundaries don't exist in reality, except the laws of physics and related. Boundaries are self-imposed. Benjamin Franklin once said “Most men die at 25 years old but aren't buried until they're 75.” People get comfortable within their boundaries when really the boundaries don't exist at all. But it takes mental fortitude to overcome self-imposed boundaries and see that your potential is limitless.

Align your boundaries with that of reality and try not to get stuck chasing abstractions. Consider the steps people, companies, and governments take to solve problems and what other factors their solutions might be stepping over.