It’s interesting. The word freedom, right? The literal definition being: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Are we not all bound by something? Whether it be family, friends, strangers, possessions, or character; we are all bound by something. We have to have restraint and hinderance, the furthering of our existence actually banks on it. Instead of imagining our freedom as a soul chained up in a prison, we need to look closer.
Absolute freedom means infinite choice. With infinite choice, you have the freedom to make any decision. Although, those decisions may not be the right (perceived) choice. Will you drown in the realm of possibility?
The ability to make a decision is a small-form way of freedom. However, the more options you have, the harder the decision becomes. So, with the decisions getting harder to make as more choices appear, would you say that we are also bound to the opportunity costs of our own decision making?
The Paradox of Choice, according to Barry Schwartz, is that freedom of choice is actually paralyzing, rather than liberating. According to the data of a survey I conducted of 24 willing participants, asking: “do you believe you can have too many choices?“; 75% of the participants believe that you can have too many choices.
You can stalemate and wait for decisions to be made for you, just like I did. Or, you can take control and make them yourself, regardless of the outcome. Schwartz has a decision making template that can help you make better decisions.
1st: Figure out goals
2nd: Evaluate importance of goals
3rd: Array the option
4th: Evaluate how likely each option is to meet goals
5th: Pick winning option
6th: Modify goals
We may never get to experience absolute freedom. That’s not a bad thing, though. We choose not to be free, for the sake of ourselves and others that we care about. The strongest chain that we are bound by, is one that we cannot break. It’s the fact that we are all, human.
You can order a copy of The Paradox of Choice on Amazon for a further description on the chains of choice.