It seems to be a gifted trait to want to optimize! For the most part that is a strong, positive trait. What may be difficult for many gifted people to remember is: all things in moderation. Too much of a good thing can become negative.

If the desire to optimize moves beyond a healthy motivation to weigh options and evaluate what is a workable next step given the constraints of reality... and becomes a need or compulsion related to determining self-worth, then it has become detrimental.

The book "What are the odds?," authored by the MyPillow guy, Mike Lindell, is an interesting autobiographical story of a person who I believe MUST be gifted. I read it with rapt attention and parts of it may resonate with you, too.

If a field interests you, it is worth 2 more years of studying, if real life constraints allow this. If real life constraints do not allow this, move to Plan B. I have always encouraged people to have a Plan B... and a Plan C. Know what these plans are, and know what the triggers/circumstances are for you personally to change from Plan A to Plan B, from Plan B to Plan C, from Plan C back to Plan A, etc. For example, if my parent requires assistance I would offer to dedicate my time and effort to provide his/her supportive care, rather than have him/her living in a facility. If I win the lottery and current realities of financial constraints are removed, then I would _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

Your options and thoughtful reflections on them are very interesting. I fully believe that whatever you choose, you can't go wrong.

Hoping some others chime in with their stories of career path choices, and any advice and tips from what they've experienced.