How to Decide

As I was listening to one of my favorite radio shows on NPR called ‘Radiolab’, I got an idea for the post. Generally, the show can be classified as a popular science program that frequently addresses human biology and existence. This particular show called “Choices” was exploring the power of human brain in the context of its ability to make decisions. Basically, the main thesis of the program was as follows: once the brain reaches its capacity to take in variables, the emotional side or as some people call it “gut feeling” of the brain kicks in. For example, have you ever gone to the grocery store and over-analyzed what type of cereal to buy or have you ever spend an hour of your day trying to figure out which restaurant to make reservations to for the Saturday night? It happens to me multiple times per day which often leads to further complexity that I have ever wanted to take upon myself and days stressing about how to and where to relax.

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But back to Radiolab… About midway into the program, the hosts presented a segment on this older gentleman who has developed quite a routine to run his life along so he could concentrate on his studies, as I recall he was some kind of a scholar, a professor I believe. Nevertheless, he standardized (if you will) mundane life tasks like cleaning and grocery shopping – he had a cleaning lady come one day per week and at the grocery store he would get the same exact set of groceries, exact to the number of apples in his basket, every time he went. It was fascinating to listen to the complexity of the routine that essentially allowed him to concentrate on more important life goals.

To sum up, the point here is that the less choices your active/rational/analyzing part of the brain has to make, the less overwhelmed and more happy you feel at the end of the day.

And now to tie this all in to this blog…. I know one thing for sure – drinking PBR exclusively for the past almost 9.5 months has made my trips to the liquor store a lot quicker. Instead of spending hours in front of the shelves trying to figure out whether Keystone Light actually tastes as flavorful as Coors Light, I just zip past breakfast isle straight to where PBR is displayed in its shiny blueish 12-beer containers. To be honest, and not to diverge from the point, however, PBR Light was stacked on display just last night as I made my way through the local Key Food, and for a second I did think of purchasing it, but again I decided against it. I do plan on trying it at some point before September 1st, 2010. However, efficiency of my alcohol runs and that free time I now spend figuring out what to write on for this blog are too much to give up for to stop and analyze whether PBR Light would provide me with a different experience.

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