The Problem with Choice

One fine evening, tired after the days work, I found myself seated on my couch at home lazily surfing channels on the idiot box, unable to decide what to watch. This thought I’ve had a for a long time resurfaced – Life has become so damn complicated nowadays with all the choices that we have and the small decisions we are forced to make everyday. See, around 15 years ago, in the same scenario I would have come back home, turned on the TV and watched whatever show in whatever language without being confused about what would entertain me the most. Simply because we had just one damn channel (good old DD National) those days. TV seemed so much more enjoyable then without all this work.

But that sounds so counter intuitive, doesn’t it? Our brains have been trained over the years to believe that choice is always a good thing. It needn’t be. Choice has a dark side too. Think about it. Having to choose something over something else adds an additional responsibility on you. You suddenly think about stuff like ‘Did I choose right? What if what I chose ends up bad? What if I haven’t explored all possibilities?’. It just adds so much more pressure. Don’t take me wrong. I’m not here to say that we shouldn’t have options to select from. But too much of it usually ends up bad.

So eventually, I started looking around on the Internet on the topic; and happily found out that I wasn’t the only with this thought. Relief – I am not that weird as I thought I was. There are people way smarter than me who feel the same. I found this very interesting book by Barry Schwartz titled The Paradox of Choice. Do read it, it is very well researched and explains the concept quite beautifully. The book is available on a lot of places on the web (:grin); but I’ll make your life easier – Flipkart or Amazon.

PS: I do have a copy of the book with me; so if you know me in person; you know you just need to ask for it :)

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