Reduce the “maximiser” in you
Life is about striking a balance, rather than going towards extremes. The same applies to our ability to maximise and/or satisfise. Maximiser is a person who values a well-informed choice to such an extent that they try to know close to everything about something before they make a decision. Their need for coming up with the best, the smartest, the most well-informed decision makes them put more effort into examining choices but is also responsible for experiencing more regret about the choices they have made. On the other hand, those who are satisfisers are happy enough with a decision that satisfise their needs, even if it is not perfect. They spend less time searching for the perfect solution and it makes them less regretful about it later. Most importantly, however, satisfising is associated with higher levels of wellbeing, due to the lesser regret we feel and a reduced number of choices we make. After all, having too much choice is likely to make us feel worse.
How can we pivot towards satisfising and improve our wellbeing?
Firstly, check how you score on the maximiser scale. To do it, go to the Maximiser Scale. Once you’ve completed the scale and confirmed that your maximiser score is high, here are three things you can do:
- Consciously try to satisfy your needs by selecting a “good enough” choice or making a “good enough” decision. When you find yourself obsessing about wanting to explore all or almost all choices, stop and think of how you could settle for “good enough”
- Remember that too much choice is bad for our wellbeing. Decide on how many options you will explore before you make a decision
- Practice an “Attitude of Gratitude” that will help you feel less disappointed about your life as is. After making a choice, consider what you are grateful for in your new circumstances
Rashid, T. & Seligman, M. (2019). New York: Oxford University Press.
Schwartz, B. (2004). The paradox of choice: Why more is less. New York: ECCO.
Have you tried any of these activities? If so, please share your experience.