We humans are complex beings. Most of us think that it is always good to have more options, no matter the situation. However, this is far from the truth. When we have multiple options in our hand, we instantly wear the thinking hat and start wondering which one of those alternatives would be a better choice for us.
Imagine it’s your birthday and one of your friends just gifted you an elegant leather bag as a gift. You’re ecstatic to receive it. But things take a different turn when you ask yourself: If you had the choice, would you prefer the gift to be exchangeable, in case the store had something else that better suited your needs and style?
If you are given the choice to exchange the bag, you’ll probably start looking at it more critically weighing its pros and cons, finding reasons why you should go ahead with the exchange and “explore” other stuff.
What we can conclude from this scenario is we, as paradoxical as it may sound, are often happier in situations and circumstances where we have no choice whatsoever than in one where we have a plethora of options. Hence, in the above mentioned example, if you’re never given the opportunity to exchange the bag for something else, you’ll take all its positive aspects into account and feel more satisfied with it.
A majority of us are unfamiliar with this part of human behavior. And that’s why, we live under the impression that situations in which we have more choice and more freedom are better for us and are driven to constantly seek them out. But here’s the key truth: As much as we enjoy and value freedom and choice, we are often happier when we have no control over things and can’t change them.
It’s a difficult notion to grasp, but sometimes a lack of freedom can make us happy and content.
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