Thursday, February 17, 2011

Definition of Insanity, and: Satisficer vs. Maximizer, which are you?

Ok, I know you are on the edge of your seat  wondering “what is the definition of insanity?” 
Well folks, here it is:

Yes, yes, I am officially crazy.
Do you know what you are looking at?
It’s me, contemplating CHANGING the color of the walls that I painted recently less than 3 weeks ago above the finished board & batten.
You know what is so insane? I debated about those colors for months. Months. M.O.N.T.H.S.
I’m looking at the same d*#n swatches again.
Please, PLEASE, someone out there tell me you are as crazy as I am.

So I had decided on a color that I actually LOVE. It’s Benjamin Moore’s Nimbus Grey.  {See it HERE.}
I love it. I really do.
I have no reason to lie to you.


Why is there always a “BUT”?
It’s not what I envisioned. It doesn’t give me the feel I wanted it to.
No matter how hard I try to make it that, it’s not.
It’s just not.
I’m sorry.

But you know what, I still LOVE that color.
I love it.
I actually can’t bear to lose it.

It’s really the most perfect blue/gray I’ve ever seen and I highly recommend it!

Ok, so here’s my plan:
I’m gonna paint the playroom Nimbus Gray and pick another color for the walls above the board and batten in the family room.
I’m leaning hard towards BM Sweet Innocence.

I’m not totally insane…it WAS one of the 4 colors I was narrowed down to the first time I went through this. It’s a tad grayer and a tad lighter than the nimbus gray.

This time I’m going to buy a small container of it
{did you know Benjamin Moore now mixes pint size samples of ANY color for $7.99?- maybe you DIDN’T need to know that} and test it out before going for it. And I’m going to use the rest of the 3/4 gallon of nimbus gray in my kids’ playroom!

Yes, I’m a maximizer. I’m trying really really hard to be a satisficer…but alas, I think it’s hard-wired.
If you’ve never heard those two words: Maximizer or Satisficer, they are phrases coined by Barry Schwartz in his book, The Paradox of Choice.

In a nutshell a “Satisficer” is one who takes action once their list of criteria is met. That’s not to say they settle for mediocrity, they can actually maintain very high standards. However, once all of their requirements are met they make their decision and do not look back.  As soon as they find the sofa or faucet or pasta sauce or PAINT color {for heaven’s sake} that has the qualities they want, they are satisfied.

A “Maximizer” on the other hand strives to make the most optimal decisions. So even though he/she may find a solution that meets every requirement, they do not stop researching until they have exhausted each and every possibility. They cannot make a decision or be satisfied until they know they’ve explored every possible option and therefore are making the best choice.
Barry Schwartz contends that, in the end, Satisficers are much happier people. But in this world of the internet and seemingly unlimited options, Maximizers are screwed struggle to find balance.
Hence the reason I’m wishing so much that I were a Satisficer… but alas, I remain, by evidence of this post, a Maximizer. I wonder if there are 12-step meetings I could attend….

“Hello, my name is Celeste,
and I am a Maximizer.”

It’s a start.
Which are you?

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Domestically Speaking


  1. mavis E. ButterfieldFebruary 18, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    DUDE!!!!!!!! I'm gonna call you.....

  2. I totally understand the dilemma! I feel your pain! By the way, is your DH a Maximizer, too? My guess is that he is a Satisficer...I am a Satisficer, my DH a Maximizer...opposites attract and hopefully complement one another!

  3. I am a Maximiser. Definitely. So that's me, you and Melissa so far. That's enough to start a help group!

  4. I had to LOL at your post!! Normally I am a Satificer, but I have totally struggled with paint in the past. Once I painted my living room twice in one week! I think Nimbus Gray was actually one of the colors I was looking at! Hope to see you at my weekend linky party sometime :)

  5. I can soooooo relate to this and I am 110% a maximizer! My walls are currently sporting eleven different gray paint samples, gray is a tough one! I'm thinking of BM Nimbus, not Nimbus Gray, but apparently google isn't smart enough and it brought me to your post with Nimbus Gray. lol I landed here once before too while searching for board & batten ideas. :)
    Jen@Liberty Cottage

  6. And btw - our local Benjamin Moore dealer doesn't mix up samples, boo to that! So we just have Sherwin Williams mix them up, they have the BM codes in their computer system and the best part......they're only $4.99 for an entire quart!
    Jen@Liberty Cottage

  7. I love the look in your living room. If I had a vote in the color choice I would pick a light sage green. I think a light sage green would look lovely with your furniture and would be stunning with the dark wood floor. Aunt Jayne

  8. Maximizer. ;-] oh lord, you should SEE me getting lost in 'choices'! [seriously, i crack myself up when i envision hidden cameras throughout my house...and the reactions of people if they ever watched me while i was struggling through with something. lol]

    I, too, am about 2-3 years into a new home and projects abound! I have an added step though: I am able to get a super discount @Porter's(paint store), so when I research paint color choices for different projects, I have to usually convert colors (i.e Benjamin Moore) into Porter's clors. EXHAUSTING!!!! lol


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