Resolutions

I just finished The Paradox of Choice: Why more is Less by Barry Schwartz.  It’s a very accessible discussion of how the plethora of choices and opportunities can bog us down and rob us of joy.  The psychology of choosing is fraught with anxiety and regret, depending on our decision making style.

I bought the book for both myself and my brother (who just left after spending a week at my house — thus my lack of blog).  We both research the heck out of major decisions, because, God Forbid, we wouldn’t want to choose an inferior product or pay more than necessary, or waste time (which I actually do a fair amount of, but I feel guilty about it so it’s okay).

Thus I come to my rather broad new year’s resolution:  to think carefully about what is important to me, and let the rest fall away, without regret.

This idea is touched on by Justine Lee Musk on her website/blog.  Do check it out.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Resolutions

  1. Benita

    Somewhere I recently came across the concept of the Satisfier versus the Maximizer. The Satisfier approaches big decisions with a limited set of minimum criteria that need to be satisfied. The Maximizer wants to maximize the ideal quality in every possible area. Think “good enough” versus “best possible.” Thus the Satisfier, once the decision is made, can be content with it….knowing that those minimum criteria were met. But the Maximizer can never truly be sure…what if something just a little bit better/cheaper/sturdier/more elegant, etc. was out there IF ONLY they had looked a little bit longer, in a different place, etc.

    • You’ve summarized the premise of the book succinctly. Another way to state it is: Good enough is good enough. That works in most areas of life. Writers often hear the advice that in this market it’s not enough to write a good book, it has to be great — the best book you’re capable of writing. Unfortunately some authors take that advice and continually revise — and never submit. It’s important to find both Balance and Perspective, and as Miles Vorkosigan is fond of saying: Forward momentum!

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