The Paradox of Choice - Why less is more

CONCEPTS Oct 31, 2020

Freedom is defined as the ability to exercise choice. Our culture is built on the values of freedom. To be free is to be your boss, You choose the way you work, where you work and when you work.

If you apply the same principles to your personal life.

Freedom is the ability to be with whom you love and then when you are out of love, freedom allows you to get another lover. But when you marry someone this freedom is lost.

Since you lost this freedom of changing lovers after marriage, you develop the ability to love the same person for the rest of your life. This helps couples to not kill each other.

The tradeoff this restriction of freedom is that you have a companion till your old age and can build a strong family and wealth together. So is Freedom really good?

According to Barry Schwartz, choices are not good. It overwhelms us, makes un undecisive and paralyses us. The more choice one has the less the ability to be happy and settle for what we deserve than the one we fantasize about.

Unable to settle down for a marriage

This is a classic example of too many choices. In this tinder and social media culture, we are under the illusion of overwhelming choices. The man or the woman of our dreams is just a message away.

This leads to us always not settling down with a single person and doing the hard work of making things work. We are always looking for the next best thing.

Are your elders constraining you?

I never had elders as such after my Dad passed away. I had too many choices, I had the choice to divorce, I had the choice to blow away my money, I had the choice to change houses and places. I had choices to work any anywhere, anytime, so I never really worked.

Learn to negotiate with your limited choices

I severely lack negotiation skills as I never had to seek permission or sell an idea to a brother, father or a colleague. It is a big disadvantage, I believe you learn your first negotiation skill when your parents say “No” to something silly you want to have. Growing up is a workshop for negotiation. The day you get your first paycheck you have graduated from this negotiation workshop and now you can apply these skills in real life.

Negotiate don’t manipulate

Manipulation feeds on the naivety of others. It is a bad deal for others. Learn to make a negotiation deal where there is a “win-win” situation for everyone.

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