Studies show that when we have MORE choices, we value what we choose LESS.
Last evening I attended a talk between Dan Barber and Sheena Iyengar (social psychologist). Sheena explained that in her studies, she gave participants either 30 chocolates or 6 chocolates and asked them to choose one. Those with only 6 choices appreciated their chocolate more EVEN if they had the same exact one as those who chose from 30. At the end of their study they were given yet another choice: take home a box of chocolates or get paid. Those with less choice wanted the chocolates MORE. The intrinsic value was much higher for them.
I had encountered these types of studies before in rational thinking classes- in supermarkets, if we have LESS to choose from, shoppers are more likely to purchase ONE. With too many options, shoppers get overwhelmed, anxious and tend NOT to buy ANY at all. This is why in many stores, they will often only display a few options when selecting which products to highlight.
This principle does not just apply to food. It applies to everything else. A great example that Dr. Iyengar shared was that of dating. When we have so many options to choose from we tend to dislike dating more. It becomes stressful. Think about how this applies to your life.
Dr. Iyengar appreciated her experience at Dan Barber's Blue Hill (which is amazing- it's been a while since I've been and I do want to go back soon) because she was given NO choice. Barber has an assistant who gauges intuitively what course offering to give to each table based on their interactions. Dr. Iyengar felt such relief that she did not have to pick each course and had to just enjoy what was given.
This for me has more practical applications. As a domme, I deal with CHOICE. People see me because I take their CHOICE AWAY. Many of you who do see professional dommes are of course people who are given choice every single day. Not only that, but other people's choices rest upon your shoulders. That is a hell of a lot of responsibility and STRESS.
Now, I also attended a lecture with a positive psychologist who discussed stress- how, when experiencing negative stress (positive being anticipation) we decrease our resilience and it LIMITS our experiences. Stress is inevitable (and in parts, good for growth- we need stressors to become stronger) but we must also target increasing our resilience and experiencing it in positive dosages. The amount of negative stress we encounter in our modern society is one that inhibits us and makes us SICK.
When I effectively take away choice from those who have too much of it, they experience:
I'll give this an acroynym: AIR- YES. YOU GET TO BREATHE FRESH AIR AGAIN.
What we fail to realize is that each CHOICE depletes ENERGY. Yes, each choice is an investment of energy. Even a small choice. That's why Steve Jobs only wore the same outfit every day. Many of the highest caliber of geniuses UNDERSTOOD THIS INNATELY. Small choices add up and take away from what you can contribute elsewhere. When we want success, we need to channel ALL OF OUR ENERGY TOWARDS IT. We leak it making small mundane choices like what cereal to eat.
When I take away CHOICE, I restore that depleted supply for you. You have more to channel towards your pursuits, to your joy, to your SUCCESS.
Not to mention, everything you are then given is more appreciated. Your experience of life there after is expanded. This helps not only on a physical level, but emotional, mental and energetic.
Do you see?
Dr. Iyengar ended on a beautiful note that our heroic trope is no longer about the chosen one, but about the chooser. We can invest our energy making smart choices that help us to be our best, singular selves.
When we effectively choose when to choose and not over choose, we become our own heroes.