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Finding Happiness by Virginia Murphy-Berman

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CHAPTER 13

The Dream of Perfection: The Cultivation of the Good Enough

The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.

—George Orwell

Abstract

In this chapter the concepts of maximizing and satisficing are discussed. Maximizing occurs when we set goals for the future in which we try to find the very best possible outcomes in all that we pursue. Trying to find the best in everything often entails long and exhaustive searches of alternatives, and it can lead to dissatisfaction with decisions if standards of perfection are not reached or if they shift over time. In contrast to this pattern, individuals who exhibit satisficing styles search not for the very best in everything, but simply for something that meets their own standards ...

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