The Art of Choosing

Now what has “choosing” to do with any art? We do that every day, in every endeavor, at every task. Chinese or Italian, tea or coffee, Coke or Pepsi, Airtel or Vodafone; choosing is our daily job, we do swiftly. One doesn’t need to be artistic in choosing anyway.

My reaction was also the same unless I paused for a while and gave a thought to it. Is that so easy to choose in today’s world? Is it all about right or wrong, good or bad, black or white? I don’t think so. There are so many shades of gray between black and white. Whether it is about small choices or the significant ones, choice of food or choice of a career, we make immense number of choices throughout our lives and that too from immense number of options in today’s scenario. And that’s what Sheena Iyengar means when she says “More is less. That is, more choice leads to less satisfaction or fulfilment or happiness.” You don’t only have to make the right choice but the pressure is to make the best choice.

Moreover, the question is: Does the same option suit everybody? Isn’t it important that our choices should satisfy our situations? And do we make choices that logically or freely? How forceful are the external pressures that channelize our choices? While choosing a career, how many factors does one think about and how many of them are reasonably rational? Are we able to make a career choice free of how much it will elevate our social status? Do we choose a life partner without any other reason in mind except the desire of an amicable life and a good compatibility? Are we actually free in making choices?

Everyone on this planet is sent forth by Him to cultivate all the creative potential within us and live at peace with our own choices. We differ in the way we make our choices and evolve our destiny. Life is a difficult game. You can win only by retaining your birthright to be a person. And to retain this right, you will have to be willing to take the social or external risks involved in ignoring pressures to do things the way others say they should be done.

By these words, this man who spent his whole life learning about rocket science, Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam, clearly defines how significant is what you choose and above all, the way you choose . Choices have far-reaching consequences in our complex world where almost everything is interconnected. These choices define us, they shape our lives. The post Choosing your own adventure, got Freshly Pressed a few days back and I think that is the perfect explanation how our choices change the course of our life. Hence they should be made with an open-mind.

And hence “Science can assist us in becoming more skilful choosers,” Iyengar cautions, “but at its core, choice remains an art.”

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8 thoughts on “The Art of Choosing

  1. Those who have an option are lucky. Many have to stick to what they get. Having a choice is awesome. Sometime we need to act as if there was no choice at all…. It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.

  2. We do have so many choices to make in our lives on a daily basis. It can become mind-boggling. I can see where making choices can become art art as we mull the consequences of various choices and try to pick the best one for us (and sometimes for how they will affect others).

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