Maximize (your happiness).

So, for my experimental Psych class I read this fascinating journal article, Doing Better but Feeling Worse Iyengar et al (2006).

A proverb sums it up: Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”

It basically tested “maximizers” vs. “satisficers”- maximizers are those who “seek the best and requires an exhaustive search of all possibilities”, while satisficers “seek “good enough” searching until encountering an option that crosses the threshold of acceptability.” Ok- pause. I am a maximizer- for sure. I always knew this was one of my greatest strengths AND weaknesses.

This RESEARCH (based on real research, using the scientific method, and objective data, by professors at Columbia Business School and Swarthmore College's Psychology Dept.) shows that while maximizers do tend to have better objective outcomes- they have negative and worse affect (subjectivity, emotions, happiness with the outcome although objectively the outcome is better i.e. higher salary, etc.). It may seem ironic, but, perhaps it can best be summed up as, “Maximizers, then, epitomize the type of decision maker who may overestimate the affective benefits that result from pursuing the best objective outcome, and underestimate the affective costs of a process that involves evaluating as many options as possible and fixating on choices that may be nonexistent (Iyengar et al, 2006).”

I don’t want to write too much- as I also have a ton of work to do- but I thought this was important to share. I could blab on about my own thoughts on this- and I have  a TON...but I'm sure you can ponder the implications of this yourself.  I know that a lot of my dear friends are also maximizers- and I know it’s a part of your personality, just like it is mine. We won’t change overnight because we read this. However, it’s something we can be aware of, and through that self-awareness learn to: A) don’t beat yourself too hard or be unhappy with the results of your endless efforts, because realistically, you probably would fee that way regardless of the outcome(!) B) stop endlessly looking for options, particularly imaginary ones(!)*I do this a lot... particularly with business/business ideas C) be happy with any good outcome in respect for that hard work you put in which produced it(!!!!)... You DESERVE to feel fulfilled emotionally, and it was not worth all that headache if you are not HAPPY in the end.

P.S.- one more note: they found that a very important variable which mediated this subjective negative affect was that naturally, maximizers also compare themselves more to other people (probably because we are used to always looking at ALL the options- maybe even options that are not ours(!)...) So- one way to combat this is of course.... *drum roll please*: don't compare yourself to others. You are only in a very friendly competition with yourself- and as long as everyday you work honestly to better yourself, FOR yourself, you are always winning. :) 



"Lose Yourself" by Eminem, Edited Version for Women

The song "Lose Yourself" by Eminem has always inspired me and helped me push through hard times. I always think at every opportunity, this is my one shot, my one opportunity. These lyrics are literally lines that run through my mind. I decided today to look them up, so I could read them verbatim... and then I decided to switch the masculine pronouns and nouns to feminine ones in my head. I wanted to make it more concrete so I wrote the verses that jive most with me down on my phone, with the revisions. I'm posting it here so it's public as well.

If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?

Her palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on her sweater already, mom's spaghetti
She's nervous, but on the surface she looks calm and ready
To drop bombs, but she keeps on forgettin'
What she wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud
She opens her mouth, but the words won't come out
She's chokin', how, everybody's jokin' now
The clocks run out, times up, over, blaow!
Snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity
Oh, there goes Rabbit, she choked
She's so mad, but she won't give up that easy? No
She won't have it, she knows her whole back city's ropes
It don't matter, she's dope, she knows that, but she's broke
She's so stacked that she knows, when she goes back to her mobile home, that's when its
Back to the lab again yo, this whole rhapsody
She better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass her

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better


And I will end this here. Goodnight. Save & Publish.

My first time sharing my random night-time writings...

I finally wrote a blog. It's short. Actually it wasn't meant to be a "blog" per se. It was something I wrote, rambling off my thoughts late at night before I could get myself to sleep. I couldn't sleep last night and just typed on my phone. Usually I keep these to myself. They usually get deleted after a few days, and sometimes I read them over, usually as if someone else wrote them. But, tonight, I think I will share.


Don't live day to day, year after year, simply finishing, no, repeating-- the motions. Are you LIVING? Actively? Because you can certainly be living, dead. Challenge yourself. Start new chapters. Not happy with the book? Fuck that book. Start a different book. Many writers write more than one book, right? There is nothing wrong with being who you want to be. In fact, this is the only way to live honestly.

Hate your job? Quit. Want to travel? Go. I'm not promising it's easy but I promise if you want it badly enough, it's possible. And you have me to help you, too. But more importantly than me, or all the money in the world, or the best job on Wall Street, you have you. You have the 🔑 to your future but more importantly to your present. Afraid? Good. Let it drive you towards your goal, not further away. I would be afraid if I wasn't afraid. There is not one day that goes by, where I am not afraid. Afraid that everything I have worked for thus far will vanish somehow, afraid that my efforts today won't be realized tomorrow. But the rewards for having gone through this fear, far surpass the fear itself. 

There's nothing wrong with baby steps, but there's also nothing wrong with taking a big leap, and further, landing right on your face. We need failure, we need to see the red on the concrete, we need disappointment, so we can realize how strong we truly are and how capable- to be where we are. The reward is not given at the end, but in the process... For you are that much better for having gone through it. And this, yes, this, is something that can never be taken away from you. 

Now to close and end this with one of my favorite quotes.

"To remain indifferent to the challenges we face is indefensible. If the goal is noble, whether or not it is realized within our lifetime is largely irrelevant. What we must do therefore is to strive and persevere and never give up." Dalai Lama XIV