Happiness : The Paradox Of Choices
In one of the blogs “ The Arithmetic Explanation Of Happiness,” it is explained how life’s voluntary choices contribute to one’s happiness. Voluntary choices have around 38% contribution to happiness.
Everyone is not fortunate to have voluntary choices. But, Peter Drucker, the management guru had valedictory insight before he died at age 95 in 2005 said as much :
In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historian will see is not technology, not the internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in human conditions. For the first time – literally – a substantially and rapidly growing number of people will have many voluntary choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.
It is observed that we do better with few choices, not more. Faced with 25 flavours of ice cream, we make a disappointing choice. It is much easier to pick up between two options – say, vanilla or strawberry and be satisfied.
As we move towards creating many choices in a complex, rapidly advancing life, we will face difficulty in choosing the correct one. It would be hard to choose one or two choices through the myriad choices. So, there are more chances of choosing the wrong one which would lead to unhappiness.
To conclude, even though we know that we want to remain happy, we don’t always know how to choose the choices to follow our dream. This will lead to the paradox of choices and make us unhappy.