Humans and frogs, too, are hard-wired to choose among only a few things. When the choices expand beyond that, we can become paralyzed with our decision and unhappy about the things we didn't choose...would they have been better? All of this can make us feel like our head's going to burst. Simple activities like doing the grocery shopping can suddenly become overwhelming. Decision-making becomes ego-centered and we lose the joy of living simply.
Psychologist and author, Barry Schwartz, says "Choices makes us more aware of ourselves and leads to greater autonomy. And since we all like to be the author of our own lives, it can also lead to greater happiness." The solution between making choices that lead to happiness and ones that makes our heads explode can be difficult to find, especially for us perfectionists and those who love to do. comparisons. But with practice, finding that sweet spot can be learned. Happier decision-making can be as easy as 1-2-3. Just follow these rules.
Rule #1. Learn to "satisfice." Okay, so that's a made-up word but it perfectly describes what we need to do. Rather than becoming obsessed with making the perfect choice or just choosing whatever seems "good enough" make a conscious effort to base your decision on a predetermined and intrinsic goal. This will lead to feeling more "satisfied" with your decision. It is the perfect place between needing to choose "the very best" (which rarely ever happens) and settling for "good enough." This type of decision-making leads us to be more flexible and more open to the potential of what we've found. Satisfaction feels good!
Rule #2. Look for the good. After you've made your decision, shift your mindset from one of deliberation to one that's appreciative. unless you do, you'll feel unhappy with your choice. Humans and, sadly, us frogs as well, are prone to the negativity bias that can lead to "endless rumination," says psychologist Daniel Gilbert. He tells us that most decisions can help us build what he calls "synthetic happiness" by looking for the good in your decision.
Rule #3. Think about others. Given that choices are mostly about "me" can lead to greater self-centeredness, it can be helpful to think about the bigger-picture "we." This can help us stay grounded and balanced. It's good for us to move from ego-centered thinking to an
ecosystem way of thinking. Ask yourself, "How will my action/decision impact others and how will it (my decision/action) impact me in a week, a month, or a year?"
Looking at the bigger picture and thinking of others, along with looking for the good in our decisions will, ultimately, lead to more satisfaction and a happier way of making decisions. So after reading all this research, I've decided what I'm going to do this weekend. Saturday, I'm helping my parent and little Quigley decorate the family Christmas tree. Then, I will go caroling with my friends in the evening. Sunday, I think, will be a good day to relax in the hot tub. As for wrapping presents? There's still plenty of time for that.
I wish each of you a happy weekend, with whatever you decide to do. Just be sure to include a little fun!
I hope you'll all join me back here on Monday morning.