The Power of Choice: How To Use It Effectively

In 1965, it was impossible to land on the moon and return successfully.

But some people think this is a possibility. Some missions to land on the moon have been unsuccessfully, but some people won’t stop thinking of the chance

There is a power of choice at play. They could stop dreaming or creating plans.

By July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong, an astronaut, landed on the moon and created a new sense of possibility: humans can survive outside the planet with some support. 

This story is more about determination than it is about choice, but it reminds me of the 1 million other people who have shaped history through their choices.

If Thomas Edison had decided to do something else instead of trying to create the light bulb.

If Alexander Bell quit when people called him abnormal for saying he could make it possible to call people in far distances without sorcery. 

These people have the power of choices and the capability to redefine what’s possible. They used it. 

How about you?

What I want you to think about is choice or, rather, the power of choice.

Every day, we make choices, and this is an attempt to do something that could lead to new things, an imagination we want in the long run. Think about choices as a current action that leads to a result in the near future. Then, every great invention can be traced back to the choice stage — to design a rocket or not, to create a sleeker phone or not. 

The Power of Choice 

Some choices will change our lives, and some can be detrimental or ruin everything. This is the power of choice. You choose to read this blog post or to do something else. 

We worry so much when we have two choices that look similar in terms of results and when we are unsure of the possible outcomes. For instance, I know that reading great literature helps me improve my empathy and how I deal with the issues of life. So, it’s easy to choose between reading and not reading.

But things get a little complicated when choosing between two good books on a fine evening. The covers are great. The reviews on the internet are positive. The authors are professionals and famous for their breakthrough research or achievements. How do I make a good choice? 

But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”

Man’s Search for Meaning

Factors That Influence Decision-Making 

Making choices becomes difficult when what we think of the potential results from two decisions look similar. 

To eat in this restaurant or that one. The result is to get good food and an amazing experience to go along with it. 

To choose a career or that one. Either way, the result is to live a good life, whatever that means. 

Most decisions usually have inertia and the fear of the unknown, but here we are discussing the confusion that arises when the potential results of two choices are similar.

There is no better way to help than to look at how humans make decisions.

Some of the factors that influence choice: 


Bias refers to preconceived notions, ideas, or beliefs about a certain topic that usually have no authenticity about the overall truth. 

We all like to believe that we make decisions rationally and objectively. But the fact is, we all carry biases, and those biases influence the choices we make.

HBR, The Hidden Traps In Decision Making

I have a bias toward written content created by Artificial intelligence. I think those types of content are too similar in tone and style. But I have seen people use AI, and they wow me with what they summoned out of the machine, yet this doesn’t change my thoughts about AI. Their quality is not as great in comparison to great writing, writeups that make you stop dead and think long and hard about a topic. Their quality depends on the intelligence and skill of the one using it. 

There are different forms of bias. 

To use the example of choosing a book, if the books look similar and the authors are both great, I will begin to look through a few other factors to make a choice. Some might not be rational, but we have biases as humans. For instance, I might ask myself, have I read one of these authors, and I like their style? (This doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t enjoy the other author.) Which author has a cuter name? Which title makes more sense, or if I mention the title, will a listener think I am intelligent? You see where this is heading, right? I am a black person. Is the author black, too? 

Most of the facets in the last paragraph don’t make much sense. They have nothing to show for my choice of picking a good book. But that’s a definition of bias, to make a decision based on some unreasonable judgments. 

Sadly, according to research, people who make decisions based on biases are overconfident in their choices

Humans sometimes continually shift through our biases until we can make a choice. 

So, the difficult question is how to make good choices. 


By the way, these are a couple of things you should keep in mind:

Having the choice to make a choice is usually a benefit. Many people’s options are so limited that they have no other choice or are never in a position to choose. 

This recall seems unimportant to our discussion, but we can see the privilege of choosing as something of great value when it comes to the power of choice. Something along the lines, “I can choose my own government, my choice of education, and my career. These are choices which not all people in all nations in the world have the capacity for.” 

The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden.

J. K. Rowling

Your privilege, no matter how little they seem, often influences your decisions.  

Secondly, you make decisions based on the material and information (and biases) you have. You make decisions based on your status and location, too. Even if those things are few at the time, it’s something worth talking about. 

Other Factors That Influence Choice 

So many factors influence human choices, so it is hard to list all of them here. But the common ones are age, experience, skills, motivation, relationship status, etc.

The Psychology of Choice? 

One central talking point under the psychology of choice is the effect of cognitive biases on our choices. According to a study about human judgment and cognitive biases, it turns out that biases influence decisions 58.8% of the time. These biases include adversarial allegiance, hindsight, and confirmation biases; bias blind spot; moral disengagement; interview suggestibility, primacy, and recency effects; and cross-cultural, gender, and racial biases. (You can read more about it in the link). 

Your Choice Today Leads to Your Future. 

We have already mentioned how your choice can lead to a better world. The opposite can happen, too.

So, the power of choice, which seems like a gift or superpower, can also seem like a burden. The anxiety of not getting things wrong. 

Tips for Making Decisions 

  • Get as much information as you can, but do not overwhelm yourself. 
  • Seek ideas or talk to people from other backgrounds, gender, or race. They tend to bring new perspectives that you won’t have noticed. 
  • Seek a win-win situation when you are dealing with other people. This is a famous mantra from Steven Covey’s equally popular book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The idea is to work towards a conclusion that will mutually benefit two or more people in a deal. 
  • Self-reflect: you can do this through journaling.
  • You can also try talking about your past with a good friend. Narrating things to them can give you insights into your own past life. Talk to people who have a better experience, too.  For example, you can consult an expert instead of making marketing decisions mindlessly.
  • Talk to a professional: therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Their advice is more valuable because it’s backed by research and expertise in handling such experience. 
  • When the emotion is high, taking a break and returning to make the decision is okay. In the same manner, do not go into a significant decision-making process after you have just experienced a high emotion. This Research says that even when two situations are unrelated, it is not advisable to go from one situation dotted with high emotions to another that isn’t. The first will surely influence the latter even when their topics are unrelated.  
  • Give it some time. You can go for a walk or make the decision the next day when you have slept and come back to it with a fresh mind. Sleep is a powerful tool that restores the mind and allows us to process thoughts unconsciously. Sleep helps the brain, which is the primary tool in decision-making. You sleep well, you stay healthy, and then you use your power of choice even better.

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