His Choice, Her Decision

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The Power Of Making a Choice

All too often we are faced with choice-overload and simply decide not to decide- which is a decision for those of you keeping score- because something has to be the default option and that apparently is good enough for us. Choose to be the person who decides what is and is not good enough. There are a lot of varying reasons for why we humans find it so difficult to make a choice.

If you killed a lion that day then lion was for dinner…and breakfast. There were very few decisions to be made back then. This rationalization effort is one that humans seem to have imposed on themselves and science has confirmed that it takes significant cognitive energy to make a thoughtful choice and even when the decision is made, the haunting of options not chosen called sunk costs for any economists in the audience causes us serious mental stress.

It probably has to do with the ease of remembering versus the difficulty of imagining.

Daniel Gilbert is one of my favorite thinkers because he knows exactly the right amount of science and common sense to present to make a concept simple but profound. It takes courage to do that which you know you need to do. Fear of loss or rejection.

Avoiding Choice is Not Possible

Disappointment in ourselves. Pride and ego. There are soldiers that die for our freedom to make choices every day.

Choice, Consent and Decision Making - Your Body, Your Baby - Having a Baby in Canberra

And then from that point- the universe is going to get out of your way. When I find myself motivated but unable to act it is almost always because I am suffering from choice overload or exhausted from decision fatigue.


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I know the intentions we set are positive, but life gets busy and we get overwhelmed. To present an analogy, think about the way muscles grow. The science of muscle growth works like this: you lift weights, the muscle fibers tear a little bit, during recovery periods the body repairs these damaged muscle fibers by fusing the torn fibers with new protein strands, and the muscle grows bigger.

I bring this process up because you should understand that you have to actively break a muscle down to watch it grow bigger and improve. Your heart is a muscle. Your brain is a muscle. Your soul works like a muscle. When you choose to not accept things as others decide them for you, that pushback is you breaking the mental muscles used to make decisions.

When people care more about a decision, their hearts beat faster and harder. Other measures—like how much blood the heart is pumping and how much the blood vessels are dilating—can indicate levels of confidence. Participants in our studies reviewed online dating profiles. We asked them to choose one profile from many options or from just a few options.

redsjudgdeloug.tk In other conditions of our studies, we simply asked them to rate profiles on a scale of one to We found that when the participants chose from many options, they felt more invested in the decision: Their hearts beat harder and faster. But their arteries also constricted—a sign that they also felt less confident about their decision. The cardiovascular system responds the same way when we take an important exam feeling hopelessly unprepared, or commute to an interview for a dream job lacking the right qualifications.

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I believe this fear could be tempered by putting the decision into perspective. Even seemingly more consequential choices, like accepting a new job, can ultimately be changed.

MS J CONTEMPLATES HER CHOICE (opens 2 July 2015)

This can narrow the possible choices, and also make you more confident about your decision-making abilities. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.