In the spirit of Alvin Tofflers' Future Shock, a social critique of our obsession with choice, and how it contributes to anxiety, dissatisfaction and regret.
Whether were buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions - both big and small - have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented.
We assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression.
In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice - the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish - becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice--from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs--has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse.
The Paradox of Choice
This audiobook really pulls you in and gets you thinking about the vary choices you make every hour of every day. Small and large choices alike are inevitable and commonplace in our daily lives. I did not realize just how many hundreds of choices I need to make every day to go from my bed and back again in the morning and at night. The process, the cognitive heuristics, patterns and rationalizations we as humans use to make daily decisions and choices is truly fascinating and complex! I found myself having direct applications and experiences as written by Barry in this audiobook. Being more aware to the pitfalls, shortcuts, subconsious thoughts that take place in ones decision making has helped me to bypass alot of clutter and "noise" when making more significant choices in life like buying a car, selecting an insurance agent, moving to an apartment, buying groceries, choosing a gym etc. I have used Barry's tips in each event with less stress, more satisfaction and better reflection that I have in the past.
A must read for picky people who have tough times making a choice and even after making one still wonder if the choice was right or wrong and why. Aint that all of us at some point?
Spent far too long deliberating over whether to get the audiobook, the e-book, paperback or hard cover. Wasted three hours and was totally unsatisfied with the medium in the end. (Irony intended)