The Art of Choosing Summary


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Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/the-art-of-choosing-summary/

This appealing examination of decision-making abilities refers to the actual power of choice and its important role in every person’s life.

What would you do if you suddenly find yourself floating in a vast ocean? Are you motivated enough to fight or you are among those people who would drown immediately?

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Who Should Read "The Art of Choosing"? And Why?

Sheena Iyengar wants to help you learn how to decide, when to disagree with some conclusions and how to be capable of making the best choices for your sake.

The author’s written word is highly recommended for the business community and its audience, particularly to managers, investors, financial advisors, and brokers, which need to exploit today’s opportunities efficiently.

About Sheena Iyengar

Sheena Iyengar is a Canadian-born, business professor at Columbia University, writer and one of the few experts on decision-making.

A native Indian born in Toronto, Canada on November 29, 1969, to Sikh parents. Her biography is one of those extraordinary fairy tale stories that you can’t believe they are actually true.

From the age of 16 till now, she is completely blind and yet in 1992 Sheena obtained her college degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She aims her attention at – why some people are afraid of choice, how to know which decision is the right one, and how can a person improve its decision-making capabilities.

Iyengar’s work promoted new ideas in many different publications, like the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, etc.

"The Art of Choosing Summary"

Do you know the story of Steven Callahan?

He’s a fighter and a survivor who mysteriously managed to stay alive for 76 days on a raft.

Yes, you’ve heard it right.

He was almost 800 miles offshore - near the Canary Islands. A capsizing accident was responsible for the surroundings he found himself in. A real, Bear Grylls - Man vs Wild survival based on harsh and hostile environment, with a limited access to resources. He barely remained alive, relying only on barnacles and rainwater.

Once again would you die or you’d continue to fight? It all depends on person’s character no one can guarantee you anything.

Even though, it seems intriguing, testing your body to the limits is not a first-choice scenario.

Here’s how:

United by heroic stories, many persons defied the odds and made their life-and-death decision to stay alive no matter what. Callahan once wrote and amazed the audience, “I choose to kick as long as I can.”

The vast majority of people think differently; their hope and survival depend on everything except themselves. In reality, your choices define your future.

Even rats would try to save themselves only because that is the nature of all living beings. To prove this theory, in 1957 a group of Psychobiology researchers tested rats by putting them in individual jars of water to see how long they can last without air, or how long would they manage to swim before drowning.

As expected, the results led the scientists to believe that the rats which lasted the longest had more will-power to live than the others, because some of them sank instantly. The same theory was endorsed by people.

Simple choices – like life or death, as explained by a British comedian Eddie Izzard and his legendary act – doesn’t require too much thinking or studying. Nevertheless, every other decision carries certain complications and confusion with it. Sheena Iyengar focuses on this problem as well.

This study is based on numerous aspects of decision making; she inquires interesting topics as whether your commitment to Coca-Cola is a result of the taste that you love, or Santa Claus has tricked you during Christmas time.

She bravely acts upon subjects that vary from rats to fashion industry and the complexity of marriages.

This fascinating book (with a beautiful cover) answers those difficult question about the skill of decisiveness and whether you possess that trait.

Iyengar is maybe open to new suggestions, for improvement, but real-life choices should be guided by two characteristics – bravery and devotion. As a detail-oriented writer, she offers lots of tips for making better decisions regardless the situation or location (supermarket; stock market; home; work; etc.).

Key Lessons from “The Art of Choosing”

1. The things you require, define you – as a person 2. Think Smart, don’t push too hard 3. It is not always better to have more options

The things you require, define you – as a person

The way that most of the people understand consumer’s choice has changed and transformed totally over the years.

Purchasing was once not a very important part of our lives; individuals used to buy things that were available, not the ones they preferred.

Don’t let your culture to dictate your life

For thousands of years, young women were forced to marry men that they haven’t even met. Their first conversation occurred on their wedding day; responsible for this mess are both culture and tradition.

The modern society cannot understand that primitivism and anyone should choose for itself but according to some beliefs, it is the right decision.

It is not always better to have more options

People have a high aspiration to have more options in life. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean - having more choices is going to pay off.

The abundance of possibilities has a task to trick people into making them feel depressed. If you analyze your decisions (over and over again), you are already trapped.

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“The Art of Choosing” Quotes

[bctt tweet="What you see determines how you interpret the world, which in turn influences what you expect of the world and how you expect the story of your life to unfold." username="get12min"]

[bctt tweet="A person of “good character” was one who acted in accordance with the expectations of his community. " username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“It’s easy to assume people are conforming when we witness them all choosing the same option, but when we choose that very option ourselves, we have no shortage of perfectly good reasons for why we just happen to be doing the same thing as those other people; they mindlessly conform, but we mindfully choose. This doesn’t mean that we’re all conformists in denial. It means that we regularly fail to recognize that others’ thoughts and behaviors are just as complex and varied as our own. Rather than being alone in a crowd of sheep, we’re all individuals in sheep’s clothing.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“We may appreciate and aspire to a certain level of uniqueness, but we believe it’s also important that our choices be understood.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“no matter how prepared we are, though, we can still have the wind knocked out of us.” username=“get12min”]

Our Critical Review

The Art of Choosing is an original masterpiece that gives feedback and delivers solutions to handful intriguing questions. Sometimes it seems like the collectivism is an integral part of our nature, but we leave this matter optional.

It is beneficial for a person to act against its inherent attributes; first, it has to be aware of their existence. The Internet offers us too many options and solutions that drive people crazy; they often fall into depression or confusion as a consequence of that.