In our last blog post, we asked the question “…how do we make the RIGHT CHOICES?”
We concluded that we can’t always make the right choices but we can get better at actually making choices without drawing out the process to the point of debilitation.
Here are 2 more tips to help improve your ability to make choices.
I’ll follow up my next blog post with a final tip.
4. AVOID SUNK COST FALLACY
Sunk C F is when we show “a greater tendency to continue an endeavor once an investment in money, effort, or time has been made.” This is why you can’t decide to sell or give away that item of clothing that you bought for a gazillion bucks even though you never wear it. There are of course less trivial decisions that this fallacy can absolutely play into and buying into it can lead to absolute stupidity in our choice making.
5. SHUN AUTHORITY, SOCIAL & PEER PRESSURE
I’m not talking about shunning sensible advice, direction, requests, expert opinion etc. but there have been plenty of studies that show how badly humans can behave and how atrocious we can act towards others when authority, social and peer pressure come into play. You may have heard of the Milgram experiment where Yale Uni psychologist Stanley Milgram was trying to figure out the psychology of genocide, shortly after the atrocities of Nazi Germany. Why had so many good people followed order that would see them brutally eliminating fellow human beings?
From the Wikipedia page on the experiment.
The Milgram experiment(s) on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram. They measured the willingness of study participants, men 20-50 years old from a diverse range of occupations with varying levels of education, to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Participants were led to believe that they were assisting an unrelated experiment, in which they had to administer electric shocks to a “learner”. These fake electric shocks gradually increased to levels that would have been fatal had they been real.
We all face cognitive dissonance where we find ourselves holding on to 2 conflicting beliefs, values or attitudes. It can feel as if we are being mentally beaten up. Often what we tend to do as humans wanting to avoid or escape this conflict, is look for the easiest out. That can mean turning off the argument and leaning into what we’ve always believed by rejecting or explaining away new information. We’ll treat it like it’s dangerous.
Well, it’s the dangerous thoughts that can often lead to escape from limiting beliefs.
Bowing to the opinions of others rather than first taking stock of our own thoughts on a matter gives away our freedom to choice and allows others to make the choices for us.
“But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
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