There’s a million ways to believe you
Well, I’m unsatisfied.
— From “Unsatisfied” by Nine Black Alps
Research done by psychologists has shown that there are two distinct patterns people follow when it comes to their life decisions. In this regard, people may be either “satisficers” or “maximizers”: while satisficers generally satisfy themselves with the few decisions that they have made about their lives, maximizers are in constant search of something better, striving obsessively to make optimal decisions.
Maximizers are the people that you spend seemingly endless minutes waiting for, while they try to choose just a single thing to order from the menu or one basic item to buy, since they’re too busy trying to decide which would be the best option to eat or buy to actually do anything! They’re the ones you call indecisive, without really understanding why they’re like that.
Satisficers, on the other hand, are more content; they choose something, sometimes without a specific reason for why they’ve chosen it, but they trust their intuition and decide to stick with their decision, whether it’s about their job, the TV channel they want to watch, or whatever. To me, I’m a maximizer. And this has been a problem in my life for many years, although now I’m kind of trying to be in control of that behavior, trying to keep it balanced.
Throughout the high school and university years, where you feel the pressure of choosing a career, choosing the course of your entire life, maximizers have a hard time. When everything seems fine, you still feel like something is wrong. You keep considering the options and looking at different choices that you’ve decided you should have made, that maybe you still can make – and then the pursuit of perfection starts all over again. In their song “Unsatisfied,” the Black Alps say, ”Ten out of ten for a race already run, Bleeding the world ’cause they can’t figure out what’s wrong.” Well, they’re right.
But maybe, maybe it isn’t just maximizers who have this problem; maybe choosing a life is so complicated that all students are kind of “destined” to experience this indecisiveness at one point or another. However, when you notice that you’re constantly a little overwhelmed with your decisions, it may be significant to realize that this might be a pattern of your thinking, and one that actually harms you in many ways. And I believe that to at least know that, to have this awareness on the road of discovering yourself, makes a difference, and that’s why I wanted to share this with all the confused minds out there. You are not alone.