Malcolm Gladwell tells the story of Howard Moskowitz and the nature of choice and happiness. Howard, a Psychophysicist, received his PhD from Harvard University and set up a consulting shop in White Plains, NY. He measured things and made sure that products were pleasing and balanced. One of his first clients was Pespi. Pepsi asked him to come up with the perfect sweetness for Diet Pepsi. He had a very difficult time finding perfection. Eventually, he realized they were looking for the perfect Pepsi when they should have been looking for the perfect Pepsi’s. He realized that we need variety. Howard went on to work for Vlasic pickle, Campbell soup (which makes Prego), and Ragu. Howard is the reason they all have varying product lines. Zesty pickles, Sweet pickles, Extra Chunky Garden Spaghetti Sauce, Old World Traditional, Rich and Hearty, and the list goes on.
Many times we THINK we know what we want, but we don’t know, because we haven’t tasted it. We haven’t tried it. We look at what others have and we think that’s what we want. We see what makes others happy and assume that’s what will make us happy, then we grin and bear it for the sake of fitting in. This is a valuable lesson in life. There is not one specific kind of happiness just as Howard realized there was not one specific kind of spaghetti sauce. There MANY kinds of happiness. And many variations in our description.
There is no perfect pickle, mustard, or spaghetti sauce for all. There is a pickle out there specifically for you, but you must “TRY IT” to know whether you like it or not. This is true of life. This is also true of happiness. We see things that we think will make us happy, but you truly don’t know until you try it for yourself.
Don’t be so quick to say something isn’t for you until you try it.
Below you’ll find the TEDtalk that inspired this post.