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The Simple Choices Count
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. Robert Gaulte
How do you perceive your choices? Most of us would say that our decisions fit into one of three areas: the Big Choices that change your Life, the Moderate Choices that affect our lifestyle, and the Small Choices that affect our day. It is assumed that the Big and Moderate Choices are integral and important, while our Small Choices are ones that people make. They are of little consequence.
But what if those decisions were actually important? Think about it like this. One of the more popular science theories as of now is the idea of a “multi-verse”, where an infinite amount of “Alternate universes” exist. Each one exists because a certain choice was made. For example, if you chose to have one of two snacks, there would be a universe for each snack choice, a universe wher you chose both, and even a universe where you weren't hungry. Each of these choices, in theory, develop a different reality.
While this theory is more science fiction than science fact, it is still a fun element to consider. What if every choice had these kind of implications? What if every choice created an alternate reality? What if these choices could have led you down a different path than the one you're on right now?
These implications are enormous. It means that every choice, in theory, could be monumental. But who is to say which ones are monumental, and which ones are miniscule? It's hard to say. This could overwhelm you
So, how can you make more “excellent”, albeit small, choices?
Becoming aware of yourself
What causes you to make a choice? Is it taste, a moral code, a power beyond us, or is it something else? What causes you to make certain choices? There are often subtle biases and trends that influence your mind. These biases affect us, whether we want them or not. Not that this is bad or good.
For example, Behaviorial Economist Dan Ariely told of a situation where he left candy out in the open two times. The first was free, and the second had cost. He wanted to find out which bowl would have the most candy taken out of it.
Surprisingly, people paid for more candy than the amount free candy they took. Why? Because of a natural feeling of guilt. It caused these people to “Choose” not to take as much free candy. However, they felt justified when they paid for their candy. This is only one example of hundreds of small influences and choices that we make on a daily basis.
So, how can you make the best smaller choices? Here's 2 simple changes of mindset that can help you at least put more thought into your choice:
Become actively Self-aware: As you think about every choice you make, ask the question “What's the benefit to me? What's the benefit for others? Why am I choosing this?” This will allow you to second-guess bad choices, and re-affirm better choices.
Pause for a moment: If you have a tendency to compulsively buy or choose things, then consider pausing for a moment. By pausing, even just for a moment, you weaken the instant desire that you have. This means that you're more likely to think through your choice.