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The Paradox of Choice

Cory Muscara



Cory Muscara



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The Paradox of Choice

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hey there.

Welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness.

In today's session, we're going to

talk about the paradox of choice.

So this idea comes from

the research of Dr.

Barry Schwartz, who wrote

the book, Paradox Of Choice.

He makes a compelling argument

for the idea that more choices may

actually be a form of mental tyranny.

Now on one hand, we might hear

that and go, that's just not true.

I love having choice and the more

choices I have, the freer, I am.

I hear you.

But have you also had that experience

of going into the grocery store,

trying to pick out toilet paper,

but not being able to choose which

one because there are 37 options.

Or maybe going to a restaurant and

feeling paralyzed because there are so

many great meal options and it actually

becomes stressful to choose one.

The tyranny is not in the choice,

not in what you're choosing.

It's in the opportunity cost, the

things that you have to give up.

Choosing one great meal out of five

potential great meals on the menu

doesn't just mean getting that meal.

It also means not getting to the,

to experience the other four.

The more choices we have, the more

opportunities we have to pass up.

Much of this mental tyranny

could obviously be put in the

category of first world problems.

And a certain amount of choice

is absolutely important for

freedom and wellbeing, and I'm

not denying that in the slightest.

But it may be interesting to explore

where more choice is actually creating

tension or stress in your life.

And instead of feeling like you need

to maximize everything, which I am

certainly guilty of, what would it be

like to take more of a satisficing role?

Being okay with the choice at

hand, even knowing that there are

a lot of other choices out there.

One of the things I really

appreciate about mindfulness is

that it it's helped me with this.

It's helped me to, to be present with

what I have, the choice that I've made

and to let go of the ideas of like, well,

what if I did this or what if I had that.

Those are thoughts.

Those are ideas.

That's the maximizing mentality, but

we don't have to be enslaved to it.

We could watch it and then come

back, be present with what's

here and appreciate what's here.

So just start to notice

what your tendency is.

Are you someone that, that satisfices?

That says, oh actually,

this is good enough.

Or are you more of the maximizer?

I need to have it perfect.

Or I need to get the best

option of all of these.

And notice how that might

be impacting your wellbeing.

We'll play around with more

of this in the meditation.

As always, thank you for your practice.

I'll talk to you shortly.

Take care.

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