Freedom of Choice; A Loss or a Privilege?
What is freedom of choice and how does it work?
One of the defining characteristics of being a human is the fact that we humans have what is called freedom of choice. Choices govern every second of every minute of every hour and day and month and years of our lives, so it is important that we understand the power they hold over us. A person who makes good choices is much better off than those who don’t. But is the freedom of choice a loss or a privilege?
Humans have the capacity to control their lives, and as stated before, this is done by controlling the choices we make on a daily basis.
Let me get to the gist of the question. It is a privilege to be able to make your own choices. Take nothing away from that. This freedom of choice is what leads to the term average or exceptional. If there was no freedom, there wouldn’t be any difference! That makes us as a human race, special.
Since we have the innate ability to have freedom of choice, we also have the capacity to be making these decisions through a complex logical structure known as the brain. We experiment when we use our own thinking or logical reasoning into undertaking a choice, this builds wisdom through wrong choices and learning from them, as well as the right choices too. We have the capacity to learn from the experience of those around us and those who came before us.
Freedom of choice as a privilege
Freedom of choice allows you to have control of your life every day and who better to sail your ship than you? Every day you wake up, you are the one running your brain and thus are responsible for everything that goes on through it. The day is an amalgamation of infinite choices that have to be made. It is quite impressive that the brain does not get overwhelmed every day!
Humans have the ability to alter the course of their lives any time they wish to do so. No other species has this ability. If you mess up the first 20 years of your life, you can just as easily make the next 20 your best! This also results in some negative consequences but that we will save for later.
This in turn gives rise to an intelligent species. Only a logical species can navigate through the affairs of the day without being overwhelmed or malfunctioned. The cognitive reasoning, that makes us special allows us to be classed as an intelligent species capable of taking care of itself and improving day by day as a whole.
Memories and special moments, celebrations, successes are all the results of this freedom. We would be able to differentiate between various contrasts if not for this ability
Freedom of choice as a loss
Humans can just as easily not perform at their best. Humans have a choice whether or not to perform at their best level. The problem with this is, since it is easier to underperform, as it is less dangerous and tiring, humans do that. The truth is that none of us are all we could ever be, maybe no man ever is all he can be because he can always do more than he does.
Freedom of choice brings about an infinite amount of possibilities correlating to an infinite amount of actions. Since we logically reason from the mind and our reasoning can be changed, anything can make sense to us, it just has to seem right to the brain. This forms an infinite amount of feelings, moods, etc. This is why some people are anxious, depressed while also having a significant amount to do when it comes to mental problems. This is why some people live miserable lives, maybe even committing suicide at some point.
Everyone has their own right-wrong scale. When everyone reasons themselves, and everyone has a different manner of thinking, it is logically concluded then that they are likely to get to different understandings. As a result, what one person thinks of as being right, another might not. This is obviously not perfectly true as society has a lot to do in swaying and cementing opinions.
Freedom of choice results in us doing things we regret as we are not always looking at the big picture. We can be easily caught in petty gratification and shortcuts to get what we want. Similarly, what we want most likely isn’t what we need. Infinite actions may feel overwhelming causing us to do what is simpler and easier even when it isn’t in our best interest.
There is a massive opportunity cost to every opportunity. For everything you do, there are countless things you could have done or could be doing.
What is going on nowadays?
The world has advanced to become a platform for endless opportunity. This obviously comes about when we have endless choices. It is far easier to choose from 3 options than it is to choose from 10. It is thus an acceptable conclusion that at a certain point it will take far too long to make a decision so the person responsible to make the decision might easily decide against it. This happens with vast abundance nowadays. A term known as choice paralysis occurs when the abundance of decisions results in the buyer being less likely to make them. This is because it ends up overwhelming the potential buyer!
In a world of infinite choices, there is one right option for everyone. But since the choices are infinite, the buyer might easily decide against buying. This is partly due to the fact that the odds of him managing to achieve this ‘right decision’ stay close to zero. For the buyers who end up making the decision, playing on the favorable odds of him NOT having chosen the right one, he is not going to be happy with his decision. This stems from the fact that he knows there is a right decision. It thus, always makes him worse off.
Now there might not be infinite options but there are a lot. Something is always better than the presumed best and once a buyer makes a purchase decision sitting with that knowledge he is not likely to be satisfied. More people suffer from clinical depression now than ever before and abundance of choice has a lot to do with that.
It is this that makes you think that maybe in some cases scarcity is the way to go. Scarcity of choice still exists. You can choose to be positive or negative in certain situations, you can grow by moving forward or you can simply stay at the same place as it is safer and easier. You can either raise people or knock them down. You can complicate a decision or make it easier. Scarcity results in realistic expectations and faster decision-making by the maker.
Our brain is a complex structure and nothing ever truly leaves it. As a result, subconsciously, everything is connected in of itself. Every small decision is connected to every big decision. Every let-down affects the rest of your performance and all other performances the same way as every win does too. It is true that some things matter more than others but at the same time, everything matters.
Things that don’t seem to matter as much as some others, we often neglect them and it is believed this has a serious effect on our future endeavors. We often ignore things like, snoozing an alarm, or eating unhealthy, or cheating sleep one day for no reason, or maybe not putting in our best but over a long period of time, this accumulates and can cause some quite notable problems.
When asked why some people aren’t successful, Jim Rohn famously said,
He said things that are important are also easy not to do. Freedom of choice causes us to take the easier route, causes us to focus on the easy than the important.
All in all…
Finally, let me conclude by saying that in my opinion, it is far more a privilege than it is a loss. A man can dream and make that a reality! That is amazing and the fact of the matter is, someone with freedom of choice can amount to far more than one with none. It is just a matter of how you look at it!
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