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  • A lot of people know this but I was born in the Republic of Georgia,

  • which was part of the Soviet Union for a long time.

  • And I remember one of our relatives came to our house once and she was complaining

  • about having to buy bread...

  • She said, "There was only one type of bread my entire life,

  • and I was just at the store and there are a 100 different types now!

  • I hate this government!

  • I hate everything now!"

  • And as a kid I remember thinking, "What the hell is wrong with her,"

  • but now that I think about it, she did have somewhat of a point.

  • Of course I don't want to live in a place where I can only buy one type of bread,

  • but at the same time there are disadvantages to having a 100 different breads to choose from.

  • And I'm pretty sure you've experienced this yourself,

  • but sometimes I find myself in a store in front of a 100 different types of bread,

  • and I waste a lot of time just standing there having no idea what to pick.

  • This is the paradox of choice. All the different choices

  • are supposed to make you better off, but they can cause paralysis

  • and actually make you worse off.

  • So now that we know what we're dealing with, let's take a look at how we can use this

  • to sell or buy, or just make ourselves better off.

  • Let's start with selling, and I like to talk about selling

  • because a lot of people who watch this have a business or aspire to have one,

  • but at the same time, we all have to sell something to someone every single day.

  • Any time you're trying to persuade or convince anyone with anything,

  • you're selling, so it should be important and useful for everyone

  • to cultivate the ability to sell.

  • Alright, so let's take a look at a study very briefly

  • where they were trying to promote these high-quality jams.

  • There were two different experiments... In experiment one, they offered 24 samples.

  • In experiment two, they offered only 6 samples.

  • So what were the results? Well, the large number of samples attracted more people

  • but in both cases,

  • people tasted the same number of jams on average. But what happened when it came to buying?

  • There was a HUGE difference... Only 3% of the people who were offered 24

  • jams to sample from went on to buy the jam.

  • However, 30% of the people who were offered only 6 jams to sample from

  • went on to buy the jam. That is a huge difference!

  • Now let's take a look at what some restaurants do...

  • They offer you a million different items on the menu...

  • You take a look at the menu, and it's just impossible to pick...

  • They have successfully paralyzed you, but they also conveniently offer you 5 specials for the day.

  • And a lot of times,

  • these specials will never even change.

  • Now what do you do? Well you've been offered something that's more managable,

  • you're much more likely to pick from this selection,

  • and guess how the restaurant benefits from this?

  • If you guessed that they sell you exactly

  • what they want with high margins, you're absolutely right.

  • Let's take a look at another example and make it even more personal.

  • One of the most frequent things I get asked is,

  • "Hey, can you please make a reading list of your favorite books..."

  • And I'll definitely make it at some point, but let's take a look at

  • what most people's reading list looks like. A lot of authors and mentors have a reading list,

  • but they literally put like 200 books on it.

  • Now when you take a look at that, most people are just going to be paralyzed.

  • There's too much choice, what if you pick the wrong book?

  • it's really hard to pick, so guess what you're probably going to do?

  • Not pick anything... And I'm telling you

  • this is a mistake that people, who are a million times smarter than I am, make all the time.

  • So keeping the paradox of choice in mind, when I do make the list,

  • what is it going to look like? It'll probably be about ten or maybe fifteen

  • of the absolutely best books in my opinion. Now even that is too much,

  • but considering people will have read half of them

  • or possibly even more, it'll avoid the paralysis caused by 200 books.

  • Imagine if you've read 9 out of 10 of the books,

  • and there's one book that you haven't read. You will most likely pick that book up.

  • But if there were 200 different books, the decision is too hard to make and

  • you'd just get paralyzed and probably postpone making the decision.

  • Now let's talk about how you can use this if you just want to make your life better...

  • Your number one priority is to avoid paralysis. A few months ago,

  • I'd get up and I wasn't really sure what I wanted for breakfast.

  • And the amount of food in my fridge could probably make a 1000 different combinations,

  • so there were times when I literally spent 20 minutes

  • figuring out what I was going to have for breakfast.

  • Now if you add that up over time, not only is it exhausting,

  • you're wasting a lot of time. So what do I do now when I get up?

  • Well, I have the same thing almost every morning. There are certain mornings where I don't

  • and I just screw around and make a mess in the kitchen,

  • but that's cool because that's what I want to do.

  • This isn't about not enjoying things. It's about enjoying things even more.

  • So for most days, I've turned something that wasted energy and

  • time into something that is super easy,

  • where I don't have to be paralyzed, and where I can dedicate that time and energy

  • to things that are more important and enjoyable than figuring out what I'm going to eat for breakfast.

  • And this is kind of like what Steve Jobs did with wearing the same thing all the time,

  • which I would personally never do, but if you're as indifferent with your clothes

  • as I am with what I have for breakfast on a random Wednesday morning,

  • then this might be a good choice.

  • So that's it. I hope you take this and apply it to your

  • particular situation whether it be buying, selling, or just making your life better.

A lot of people know this but I was born in the Republic of Georgia,

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A2 US paralyzed offered paralysis bread breakfast paradox

THE PARADOX OF CHOICE BY BARRY SCHWARTZ | ANIMATED BOOK REVIEW

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    Bang Vuthe posted on 2015/08/28
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