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THE PARADOX OF CHOICE

It started when two concepts converted. The first was when many years ago (along with over 10 million other people), I saw Barry Schwartz's TedTalk, The Paradox of Choice. He talks about the problem of having too many choices and how it keeps us from making a decision at all. It made sense. Then, a couple of months ago, I saw a post on FaceBook with a quote from Sri Bhagavan, "Where there is choice, there is no freedom." Wow! Two approaches to the same issue, with sort of the same conclusion.


This has had me thinking about this topic ever since. We have all these choices, it is just a fact of modern life. What should we do? Go live in a cave? Even that involves choice ... which of the many caves to should we move to? (Yes there are cave homes) And should we rent a cave or buy? Should we live alone in the cave or with a Llama?


During an intense conversation last weekend, my ever-thoughtful and insightful friend, Andrew, helped me to look at this another way. The clearer the vision you have for yourself and your life, the fewer choices you have, so the more free you are.


Let me use something my mother and I were talking about today (and over-exaggerate it) to help demonstrate my thoughts ... We were asking the question, "If your home was burning and you could only rescue one thing what would it be?" Let's say you have the choice between saving your child or your TV or your photos or your handwritten letters from your partner. Its NOT even a choice! You wouldn't have to choose! You would just act. You would have the freedom to act and respond to the situation of the burning building. And after the building burned, you would have the freedom to get on with your life.


Taking it down to the more mundane level, if you have a strong vision for your body and its nutrition, its not even a choice to pass on the double pepperoni pizza. There isn't a struggle to question yourself "what if I just have one tiny slice?" You just wouldn't be interested, no choice to make.


So, I think the reverse of this is also true. If you are struggling with choice, maybe it's a good time to look at your vision. There are so many great techniques for creating and holding visions; vision boards, meditations, prayers, and more. For me, the Soul Sync Meditation, has been the best. After a number of stages to put you in beautiful and connected state, it has you powerfully visualize a solution to a problem or heartfelt desire.


So my formula for those of us who like formulas is: stronger visions = fewer choices = better response to life = more freedom.

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