The “Wheat Principle”: Finding “Good Enough” in Love, Career, and Life

Three disciples asked Socrates: “How can we find an ideal life partner?” Socrates asked each of them to pick the largest ear of wheat in the wheat field, but they could not go back and could only pick one. The first two disciples either regretted picking the wheat ears too early, or were dejected because they hesitated and returned empty-handed. When it was the third disciple’s turn, he divided the wheat field into three sections, divided the wheat ears in the first section into large, medium and small categories for comparison, and then selected a relatively larger one in the second section of wheat field. After that, I stopped looking at other wheat ears and returned home satisfied. This is the Wheat Principle – whether it is love, career, marriage or making friends, there is no optimal decision. We do not seek the best, but seek appropriateness.

However, what is appropriate? The author of the book “The Beauty of Algorithms” proposed that at the 37% node, there is the greatest probability of selecting the best result.

We may not be able to demand the best results in anything we do, but we should not compromise blindly. We must not only accept it when it is good, but we must also have evidence to rely on.

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