To feel more empowered: Simplify


by Monda

One of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read is Barry Schwartz's "The Paradox of Choice". The impact I felt was reinforced through attending Dr. Schwartz's talks, hearing him at various settings (on TED for example, linked below) and reading his articles and interviews.

In a nutshell: We are no longer Empowered by the myriad of choices offered to us through the competitive global economy,... For the sake of Sanity, we need to check into what Truly Matters to us, Lower our expectations, and be able to Think and differentiate between what society/the Official Dogma throws at us vs what those choices do for us.

This is what the man has to say, check it out:


For years I have been diligently providing myself lists and bits that relate to my Needs, Wants, Cravings and Such. This method has helped me, to question the Realities of my life, Learn from my Perceptions of those "realities" and Make revisions about the importance of things in my life. We all do that, in our own ways, I can imagine. However, my path has been consistently towards Simplification. In physical terms as well as cognitive emotional realms.

What I truly do not Need in my core; the items whose patterns I have confirmed - I put aside. I don't lose them. I simply acknowledge them for what they Once were. My way of checking the value of those 'things" is most often linked to the "Intensions" in those involvements. Very Zen, very simple. However, in order to accomplish this simplification, I find, much genuine introspection is required to practice of the knowledge. Someone once said: Honest communication of thoughts and feelings with loved ones takes Guts. I add to it: Being Honest with oneself takes massive Balls. Checking Intensions (Karma) is one way to go about it properly. You may have other suggestions. Please share.

A friend asked me to help her decide what to take on a long trip overseas. She was already decided on taking the most important items in one suitcase. I stayed with her while she did just that. Not only I was there out of my care and respect for her quest; but also to be better in touch with the simplification process, in progress. It was/has been a profound experience, on many levels.

Also, let me know what The Paradox of Choice, evokes in you. Past the dilemma supermarket choices bring. I take that back - Any honest dilemma is worth discussing and learning from. Cereals, gadgets, partners,... share if you like.






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Princess jaan, you are not alone

by Monda on

Schwartz validates that Anxiety which we all feel once faced with too many choices - hence offers lowered expectations as one solution among many. He does not imply Lowered quality of life. Only less Superficiality in the definition of individual needs. 

Ultimately, Schwartz's stance, in action, has inherent a therapeutic process, worthy of our time. Time spent on applying it towards the goals of personal satisfaction and peace of mind. As you can imagine, the topic can deal with guilt, shame and resentments, very effectively. Therefore opening space for lots of Positives. 

I am glad to hear of your intrigue with the topic. 


Faramarz Gol Gofti!

by Monda on many other times.

Time Can explain so many things in our life time, right? One needs to learn from it, in any possible way. Time spent on activities and relationships do clarify so many variables. Of course, the very concept is divided into Real and Virtual. And the Balance thereof. (moammaa chand taa shod :o) 

Once, eons ago, my undergrad sociology professor said: Time is the only asset that cannot be Bought with money... did he make me Think! After much pondering I posed this question to him: Computer technology is working towards the goal of maximizing Time, in making humans live longer, work less for higher productivity, etc... To which he replied: Then change your major to Computer Science, why don't you?! :o))


ما که چویسی نداریم!


Thank you Monda.

For me the most important asset that a person has is his or her time and the most important choice that one makes is what to do it and who to spend it with.

Thanks for your other clip too! How do you get passed the IT guy?

ebi amirhosseini

Monda Jaan

by ebi amirhosseini on

 Sepaas for sharing.

Ebi aka Haaji


Great topic, Monda jaan.

by Princess on

I guess like everything else in life, it comes down to finding a balance. In this case, realising at what point the number of choices we have starts impairing our ability to make choices and be happy with them.

Speaking for myself I can confirm that too many choices make me anxious. I am one of those people who get paralised when I have too many options. What I have also realised is that once I do make a decision, the object of my choice loses its value for me, (be it that pair of jeans I just bought or the latest edition of iPhone) I become careless towards it.

However, I think the implications of what Schwartz is talking about is even bigger for, not the material realm but for, our relationships towards ourselves and other human beings. As much as I hate to admit it, I am noticing an increase in the number of crazy people like myself who expect too much from themselves and unfortunately carry that expectation into their other relationships, too. In a way, I think this is an even larger problem.  

The big question for me is, is it possible to reverse this trend? And if so how?? After all it is much easier to reduce the number of cereal boxes on the shelf than to reduce our expectations from and for ourselves.