During my previous sabbatical, five years ago, I spent a couple of months studying positive psychology. I learnt that satisficers tend to be happier than maximizers. Unfortunately I was born a maximizer. No wonder I’m so pessimistic! Maximizers must spend a lot more time and energy to reach a decision, and they’re often anxious about whether they are, in fact, making the best choice. My father used to say: “good is good enough”, but it’s easier said than done.
My sons and I decided to go to the Tokyo Motor Show. It was a last minute decision so I had not done any research. The show is held in a huge venue called Tokyo Big Sight, which has several halls so large it takes twenty minutes to walk from one to the next. As we enter I say: “Hold on boys, let me pull out my phone and see which cars are the most interesting to see.”
My son Eight is a satisficer and a born optimist. He sat me straight: “No, mom. Let’s just walk around. I want to explore on my own.” Why not, I thought, and we ended up spending our time in just one random hall, seeing perhaps 20% of the exhibition. We had a blast.
The boys found many motor cycles which they were able to sit on, they were in awe of some of the prototype cars and a hover board by Lexus, which they have been obsessed with in recent weeks, and they even got to participate in a virtual car ride, which earned them a free alarm clock to boot.