Here’s a trick I’ve been using to get more satisfaction when confused between two choices

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Hmm..Should I have coffee or Fruit Juice. I am yawny, I’ve got a long day ahead of me, coffee would pick me up and ensure that my day starts with a zing. But fruit juice with it’s natural anti-oxidants is so much healthier. Besides I’m becoming addicted to caffiene and should reduce my caffiene intake. Aaargh! I can’t make up my mind. Okay, fine it’s coffee that I want. Not Fruit Juice. Yet, as I amble out of the food court with my cappuccino in my hand, I’m still kicking myself, “Damn it, I think I made the wrong choice. I would have been happier with fruit juice instead.”

Have you been there, done that? You have two equally inviting, tempting, rewarding choices in front of you and it is driving you nuts which one to pick. And the worst of it all is that, once you have made up your mind, you still don’t feel good about it. Isn’t it so paradoxical? We have more choice than ever anyone had before yet, we’re not happier. Not happy before the choices presented to us and not after we’ve made up our minds.

It’s this phenomenon that Barry Shwartz talks about in this brilliant Ted Talk, titled the Paradox of Choice. And here’s the way out that he’s suggested:

“Be a Satisfier. Not a Maximiser”

In other words lower your standards. Take it easy. You don’t have to Maximise every possible single moment of your existence. If you are gonna live you life Slamming that throttle, experiencing the rush, having all systems on go, every time, all the time, you’ll go through one heck of a burnout. So you didn’t get the best-deal. So you haven’t made the best possible choice, so be it. Be a satisfier, not a maximiser. Yes, a maximiser would walk out with the better deal. But choose to be the satisfier who walks out happier with the above-average deal that he’s got.

I’ve picked a lame example to beginning with choosing between two beverages. But this can be applied to every single choice, dilemma and regret that you face, in business and in life. You’re walking out of the negotiating room or the bazaars, wrenching your fists that you’ve not negotiated hard enough? Chill and be a satisfier, not a maximiser. Your day is not going out as you planned, the evening that you wanted to spend on your own couldn’t happen, well that’s okay. Be a Satisfier, not a maximiser.

So next time you find yourself beating yourself up for not choosing something else than what you had, tell yourself, “Hey, I’m a Satisfier, not a maximiser. I’ve got a pretty cool deal and I’m still gonna fly with it.”

Both the below talks are a must see and frequently listed among the Most Watched Ted Talks

Barry Shwartz:On the Paradox of Choice

Dan Gilbert: Why are we Happy? Why aren’t we Happy?

6 Comments

  1. Excellent advice, and easy to remember too.

    I recall once purchasing an item on Amazon, and selecting the free next-day delivery option which had a 30-day trial at the time.

    “Yea”, I thought to myself, “I’m maximising this purchase by receiving the package in 1 day rather than 2 days!”

    Next day the delivery man knocked on my door, but I had gone out for 15 minutes to buy milk, so I missed him! A note was left saying “We’ll try and deliver it to you again tomorrow.”

    “Ah darn”, I thought, and I felt annoyed with myself for the rest of the day. Even though if I hadn’t opted for the free next-day delivery 30-day trial, I would have received the package in 2 days anyway!

    In retrospect, it was quite irrational for me to feel bad or annoyed with myself, and inshallah I will keep the “Be a Satisfier. Not a Maximiser” mantra in mind in future!

  2. Ha ha ha. Lovely story. I can certainly related to that. We’ve all had days that have been spent royally kicking ourselves. Thanks for sharing bro.

  3. Ya shakur, you guys, finding your blog has been a real lucky strike. thanks for sharing this precious and funny stuff!

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