Do I have the power of choice?

Do I have the power of choice?

Vivek Jayaraman
25th Jul, 2022

People usually stick to what they know when they can't think beyond a situation. They become attached to what they know when they cannot think beyond it. The number of choices one could come up with for the things at hand will be limited depending on the situation that limits our thinking. When in a problem, different people come up with varied choices to solve the problem. This could be because of so many factors. Few are knowledgeable, resourceful, position, have power, money, ability to think, are cognitive, etc. 

Do I have the power of choice?

Many people have told me that a choice is an illusion. It's not the power of choice but having the illusion of choice. They were forced to do things and were not given any options. Let us take an example of our school and college days when parents made significant decisions in our life. Obeying parents and respecting their decisions is a choice made. It may look like we never had options, but we chose to obey. Some kids disobey their parents, and it's their will. Everyone has the power of choice. We weigh the consequences of the choice and take them accordingly. 

Eventually, choosing something over other options considering its practical nature is still a choice. There is always more than one solution to any problem. If that is the case, then how to have more options for the things at hand? The availability of many choices will be based on one's resourcefulness. 

What is resourcefulness?

The dictionary meaning of resourceful is "having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties." So, being resourceful is an ability. How to acquire this ability? There are many ways one can grow to be more resourceful. 

Being imaginative, creative, innovative, inventive, cognitive, self-managing, stable with emotions, and so on is resourcefulness. Let's say you were to have one of the below, 

  • There is a situation where the car broke down in the middle of the night in a remote place. 
  • You were put in a position to handle a workplace issue, or else you will be let go. 
  • Your spouse forces you to do a particular task for the family you do not like or want to do. 
  • You covered up a mistake that surfaced, and you are in the spotlight for the same. 

Being in any of these situations is highly emotional. When people are highly emotional, their cognitive functions will be limited—one of the reasons people say not to make decisions when you are emotional. One needs to be in the right mind to decide what to do. Cognitive functions will not function as expected when in an emotional state, leading to poor choices. Significant choices emerge when there is a proper application of both emotional and rational inputs. 

The ability to self-manage oneself in any emotional situation is a resourceful state that leads to optimal cognitive function. Some resourcefulness states include, 

  • Talking to someone for help
  • Thinking through to solve the problem at hand
  • Being imaginative
  • Self-persuading
  • Being hopeful
  • Ability to pursue
  • Not giving up attitude
  • Being optimistic
  • Confident and Courageous
  • Being Resilient

Being resourceful opens possibilities to obtain more choices in any situation. 

Why does someone say no choice?

When someone says they have no choice, it could be because of multiple reasons. Not being resourceful and being emotionally challenged are fundamental reasons. Let us take an example of a situation where the person does not have the knowledge/skill to make a choice/decision. The person may seek the help of someone to make a choice. The decision to choose something from another person is still a choice. 

Most of the time, people say they don't have a choice because they don't look beyond what they have. Their resourcefulness is questioned by themselves. What if, in a negative context, the death of most choices? 

  • What if I am not an intelligent person?
  • What if I fail at coming out of the problem?
  • What if no one helps me?
  • What if I am a failure?
  • What if I don't have what it takes?

Self-doubt is the reason for failure 99% of the time—people who optimistically look at how they want to get more choices eventually. Hope is a critical factor in cognitive thinking when things get highly emotional. Those who consider that there are more ways to solve a problem end up thinking of more ways and means. Suppose you are someone who says that there is no choice; it's because you are not thinking beyond what is at hand. Hoping to come up with more gives me the ability to come up with more, come what may. Prayers are a kind of hope instilled in humans for a very long time. Believing that we will get something is the first step to looking further into getting something. 

How do our choices make us unique?

We human beings are born unique. We have our traits, qualities, characteristics, behaviors, and ways. How people think is unique when a human brain is scanned during decision-making. The electrical signals that get passed in the brain have a unique traversal across different sections. It is because of the earlier choices that we made in our lives. 

I will take an example of myself here. Whenever my parents gave me choices on selecting the school, choosing the courses, what I wanted to study, and how I wanted to make it, I emerged with my options. Every time I made a choice, my life turned toward that choice. Every opportunity, selection, and decision I made along the way further made a different option. Consider the scenario and the prospects you came up with like a mind map. Below is the mind map of myself starting after I completed my tenth grade. 

Every choice made me traverse a path that gets unique. These were some critical choices in my career. Along this path, I have made some personal choices in life that made me go deeper and deeper in a direction that makes me a different person altogether. If I revisit my options and consider what if I have made another decision? It would put me on a path where I won't be writing this article but doing something different. Every choice that we make along our way in our course sets us in a direction that is different from others. Our choices make us who we are.

How we are born is different. We all are born in this world. What we choose to become is totally in our hands. One must understand the power of choice. What we choose to become is all we become. Take control into your hands and decide what you want and who you will be. 

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