”We Are Our Choices”

 

”You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear”

People say that our choices define us and reveal our true inner preferences.

The new research suggests that self-control shapes how we define choice and how much we see our choices as reflecting our true preferences. Simply thinking of self-control makes us see our choices as less reflective of our real desires.

“We argue that self-control’s inhibitory effect on our behavior changes how we think about the relationship between our choices and our preferences: when self-control is salient in our minds, we think of our choices as less reflective of our true inner preferences,”

Buying a car can be an important example of this. Purchasing a Toyota over a Honda can lead people to feel they like the Toyota brand more, even if the initial decision wasn’t based on strong brand preference but rather on something more random like a convenient financing option. But it turns out that merely thinking of self-control, which we do quite often, can reduce the extent to which we like and prefer what we previously chose.

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The researchers started with a study that asked people in three groups to recall a choice they had made. The first group recalled a choice that involved self-control. The second group recalled an impulsive choice. The third group simply recalled a choice without special instructions. Participants were then asked to what extent the choice they had made reflected their inner preferences. The participants in the first group felt that their choice was less reflective of their preferences.

In the next study, went even further, and examined whether thinking of self-control in one context could reduce the tendency to see the choice as reflecting preference in unrelated contexts. They first showed participants five mainstream sedans and asked them to choose their preferred option. Next, participants made a few unrelated choices, such as choosing food items and gifts. For half of the participants, these choices involved self-control – choosing between rich Alfredo pasta and a healthier salad, for example – while the other half made choices unrelated to self-control – choosing between an apple and a pear.

Finally, participants were asked to recall the car they had chosen and to indicate how much that choice reflected their personal preferences and taste in cars. As the researchers predicted, making self-control important in the mind of the participant by having them think about self-control in an unrelated decision reduced their feeling that the car they had previously chosen reflected their preferences.  It also reduced their evaluation of the chosen car’s brand more generally.

“Merely thinking of self-control, even in a random context, appears to evoke the notion that our choices may not be reflective of our true inner preferences,”  “This makes us see choices in even unrelated domains as less reflective of our true preferences, and may even decrease our evaluation of previously chosen brands.”

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”Deciding How You Want to Live”

Starting a new life can be a great opportunity to make refreshing choices and decisions. However, doing so with no money can present a bit of a challenge as well. To make the most of your new life, start by creating a list of goals and keeping a positive mindset. Learn more about saving and your spending habits. Get a job to bring in additional income and reach out to your friends and family for assistance, if needed.

*Deciding How You Want to Live:-

Be clear on why you are starting over. Spend some time determining whether or not you are creating a new life out of necessity or desire. If this is a choice based out of need, then you’ll want to identify what life improvements you will need to make as well. If you are making a decision based out of want, then carefully consider what your ideal life looks like.

Make any moving plans, if necessary. You may need to move to a new apartment or house in order to truly start over in the same city. Or, you may need to head out of the country entirely. Do as much research as you can online to determine the best way to use your limited funds. Look for locations where the cost of living is cheap and jobs are plentiful.

Decide who to keep in contact with. Starting over can mean severing some personal ties, but it doesn’t always require breaking your bonds with your loved ones. Go through a list of all of your friends and family and determine what place they should have in your new life if any at all. You’ll also want to consider how you will break the news to everyone that you’ve decided to start over, or if you will just stay silent about your choices.

Keep a goal journal. Spend at least 15 minutes a day writing and thinking about your current situation and editing your goals. Try to create goals for a month, for one year out, for five years out, and for ten years out. Reassess your goals on a regular basis and change them if you need to. Make sure that your goals closely align with what type of life you’d like to lead in the future.

Break down each goal into a series of actionable steps. Consider exactly what actions you’ll need to take for each goal and write them down as a sequence. As you decide to tackle that particular goal, look at this list as a reference. This will make larger goals seem more possible. This, in turn, will make you feel more in control of potentially difficult situations.

Seek out exciting, new experiences. It can be easy to get bogged down in the unknown or the unusual when you are starting over. Instead, force yourself to use positive adjectives when describing what you are experiencing. Change from using “weird” to “exciting,” for example. If you feel yourself getting too anxious, tell yourself to open your eyes and find one thing positive about your new environment.

Give yourself positive encouragement. Starting over takes time and a great deal of work. Don’t expect everything to be in order overnight. Instead, be gentle with yourself and acknowledge all of your victories, even the small ones. Tell yourself throughout the day, “You are doing good.” Give yourself compliments as often as possible.