I recently had my dad try the Whatever can drinks while having lunch at a food court in Clementi. This video is his review of the concept drink, which is really a random drink in a can.
Whatever would feature a random range of non-carbonated drinks, while Anything would be a carbonated range. The ad campaigns ranged from controversial bus stop ads to funny television commercials (see commercials for Anything and Whatever).
While we might laugh at the idea of it and wonder how long before the idea would fade (or even get picked up by other drink manufacturers such as F&N), it’s stuff like these that show us how having too many choices can sometimes be more trouble than its worth.
Last year, ZeFrank introduced this idea in his show where he reviewed a book by psychologist Dan Gilbert called Stumbling on Happiness. In it, Dan talks about stuff that really makes an impact on your long-term happiness. Apparently it’s not the major stuff, but the small things in life which matter most. Choices, in fact, are things that affect us constantly.
Citing ZeFrank’s show transcript:
We live in a society that places a high value on being able to make choices. All the different kinds of tomato sauce… those badass buffets at Friday’s… and no arranged marriages.
We agonize about the choices we make and simultaneously hold on to the ability to choose for as long as possible. Things on “final sale” or “the point of no return” kind of freak us out.
But Gilbert suggests that we’re pretty damn bad at predicting the degree to which things will make us happy.
Those shoes, that girl, that job. It’ll make you happy, but probably not as happy as you think.
But the reverse is also true! The things you worry are going to devastate you aren’t going to be that bad. Those shoes, that girl, that job. The actual decision that you make doesn’t really matter to the degree that you think it does.
But the stress and anxiety that you feel when you think that you have a choice does matter. It makes you less happy.
It appears that you’re best at getting back to your baseline happiness when you’re stuck in a given circumstance. The perception of having a choice interferes with that synthesized happiness.
So in the long run, you’ll more likely be happy with that pair of shoes you got stuck with in a final sale than you will be with that pair of shoes that you have thirty days to exchange.
It seems like the best thing that you can do is just keep moving forward. Make a choice, and stick with it. Don’t keep the other catalogues around after you buy that car. And toss the receipt on those pair of shoes.
In the long run, it’ll work out.
Don’t get it? Maybe you need to watch ZeFrank explain it in person…