On Plethora of Choices

“Choice Theory explains that, for all practical purposes, we choose everything we do.”  ― William Glasser

Sheena S. Iyengar is one of the world’s experts on choice. Her research focuses on: why people want choice, what affects how and what we choose, and how we can improve our decision-making outcomes.

Check out TED videos by Sheena S. Iyengar on The art of choosingHow to make choosing easier

The Ten Axioms of Choice Theory from William Glasser

1. The only person whose behavior we can control is our own.
2. All we can give another person is information.
3. All long-lasting psychological problems are relationship problems.
4. The problem relationship is always part of our present life.
5. What happened in the past has everything to do with what we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying them in the future.
6. We can only satisfy our needs by satisfying the pictures in our Quality World.
7. All we do is behave.
8. All behavior is Total Behavior and is made up of four components: acting, thinking, feeling and physiology
9. All Total Behavior is chosen, but we only have direct control over the acting and thinking components. We can only control our feeling and physiology indirectly through how we choose to act and think.
10. All Total Behavior is designated by verbs and named by the part that is the most recognizable.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr. Seuss

We are all creatures of our Life Experiences

One of the questions that I have gotten asked over the years is “Did you tell Adi to do this?” or “Did you make this choice for Ari?”

I find this question completely ridiculous.

First of all, in this day and age, when independence is respected a lot, it is not easy to tell anybody (let alone a teenager!) what to do……it is not even easy to influence them. Peer influence takes on value.

And, here is the main reason. Long long ago, I lived in the Balakrishan household. Very contrary to that day and age, both my parents let me make choices.
They let me pick high school.
They let me pick friends.
They let him pick the undergrad school that I wanted to attend.
They let me pick majors.

Trust me….this wasn’t easy at all for them. Their friends wanted them to do what was common practice at that time – marry their daughter off as quickly as possible

I had landed a high paying job in my final year of undergrad school. I choose to not to go the job route. I gained admission to a grad school with a major that I wanted with a specialization that I wanted.

My parents defied the odds. They mortgaged their house to buy me a one way ticket to a country they had never been to.

Then, they did the most fantastic thing ever.
They let me pick my life partner.

It is not that they were not involved. In fact, they were super involved. They were big pillars of support. In many cases, they didn’t even understand the intricacies of the choices that lay in front of me. But, they trusted me.

TRUST – that is a very powerful thing, is it not?

I can go on. But, you get the story line.

So, let us fast forward a bit.

What do you think I’ll do when times comes for me to raise my kids?

I’ll trust…because that is what I got.
I’ll defy the odds….because that is what I got.
I’ll do my freaking best….because that is what I got.
I’ll let my boys make a decision and stand by their choices…because that is what I got.

We are all creatures of our life experiences.

So, let us make it a good life for ourselves and more importantly for everybody around us…especially the young’uns.

Sounds like a plan?