Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Paradox of choice

Do, or do not. There is no try. Yoda

A paradox is a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.  The Paradox of Choice is a term coined by Psychologist, Barry Schwartz who argues that the more choices we have in life, the less satisfied we will be with our choice and the less happier we will be in life.

“Maximizers” are people who, given a choice, will exhaustively search all the options, seeking all possible information, in order to make the best possible choice. This behavior generally consumes a lot of time, and often leads to nagging doubts, perhaps where no one clear winner emerged.

“Satisficers” are those who settle for a choice that is “good enough” for them These people are generally happier with their choice, and spend less time choosing, leaving them free to enjoy other things.

I usually swirl a decision around in my head....the length of time depends on the decision at hand....but all in all I am a quick decision maker. I am a Satisficer.  I work more on instinct and personal recommendation than on research and pondering. 

Sometimes I look for signs to help me make a choice...

Sometimes those signs are hidden...but they are still there...keep looking.

I don't like too many leaves me I was so surprised when I first heard of the paradox of choice.... My ears perked, I stopped and took notice...and then I felt validated... Like, "Shew- this thing I feel has a name...and I am not the only one.

Parker chose to eat a pickle today. When presented with the option later this afternoon he chose it again. This face doesn't mean he wasn't happy with his choice.


Greyson chose to let me put this hat on him- but only if it was backwards. 

Schwartz says, "Autonomy and Freedom of choice are critical to our well-being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don't seem to be benefiting from it psychologically.

Now that I know it is "OK" and this thing I feel has a "name" I'm going to welcome some more of it into my life, and I will call it simplicity. We could all stand to simplify our life...our minds...our day to day...

I am blessed by this simple life. I am learning that uneventful doesn't always equal boring. One of my favorite moments of today, snuggling with my boys after ALL THREE of us napped!!!! Ding ding!!! AWESOME BALLS!!! (I know that is not the phrase, but I like it. I hope that's OK with you. You can use it too if you want ).

Yesterday evening on a whim I went to a kickboxing class. I love structured exercise classes and I suddenly realized I had not been to one since before Parker was born. They used to be a big part of me. Where have I been this past year? I have had so many things to focus many things to choose from that I started to foget what makes me tick. I think I am coming back slowly. I need to put my oxygen mask on before I can help others- so I take me time and run with it when I can. Remembering the pieces of me that used to be. 

I thought it was going to be a nice little kickboxing core/cardio class like I have done before in a gym setting. Not so, it was at a place called LA Boxing, and it was real kickboxing. Like the people there could have totally kicked my ass- kickboxing. Like a boxing ring in the middle of the joint- real. I wasn't intimidated after they wrapped by hands because I felt like I looked tough and it seriously upped my game. 


After 60 excrutiating minutes; which included 46 checks of the clock, countless kicks, hits, uppercuts, jabs to the ribs, jabs to the gut, squats, crunches and an overall beating the bo-jangles out of my punching bag, I was done. It was amazing. With sweat beading down, I beat the hell out of everything that makes me sad, everything that makes me angry and even some people that deserve an uppercut or two. For people who only find God in Church, I say, Oh, not true. His presence was felt. All the energy in that room. The breathing in and out. The resolution of feelings....of life... In that hot and sweaty room we all came together in unison like it was Communion. And that is why I don't just like exercise... I need it. 
I know my running and swimming friends feel it too.

Life. It's pretty simple...even when it is complicated. Perhaps we should make this the Summer of simple and trust our choices.


1 comment:

  1. So interesting! I'm such a maximizer. I need every piece of information imaginable yet I often still feel unsure of my decision. I love simplicity as well. I think I need to implement that much more in my life.