November 26, 2022

The Paradox of Choice and The Choice to Change

Change seems to be the only constant in life. The famous quote says “There is nothing permanent except change”.

It’s unavoidable, risky, and at most times necessary. Once you feel like you’ve arrived thinking, “This is it! This is what life should be!” something inevitably changes. The reality is, change will always happen — good or bad — because it’s a normal and natural part of the life cycle.


Change is part of transformation, and transformation is a necessary part of life: “If we’re not growing, we’re dying” and “If you want to feel alive, really alive, then you must grow.” Change allows us to develop emotionally, socially, and even spiritually in ways we never could without it.

Psychologist Barry Schwartz has been studying “choice overload” and how it affects our perception of happiness and satisfaction in our everyday life. He surmises that too many options in our everyday life — whether it’s consumer products, choosing a location, a house, job opportunities, or which party to attend on a Friday night — creates unrealistic expectations that often leave us feeling unsatisfied. His advice is to settle for good enough to be happier.

Its worth watching this video – The paradox of choice | Barry Schwartz

I know that Schwartz’s hypothesis is backed by the type of scientific research that I neither fully understand nor have the time to contradict. However, I disagree with his basic assumption because he doesn’t account for choice related to personal transformation that can morph our perceptions and expectations of every day life. What may have felt unattainable, unrealistic, or impossible yesterday may be not only realistic today, but even easy.

Choices in life give us the powerful opportunity to embrace something different than our status quo — they give us the opportunity to grow. Without different options, we would not understand our ability to choose change and therefore wouldn’t.

Some sense of stability in life is healthy, whether its familial relationships, a sense of community, or simply a place called home. But even when those seemingly stable aspects of life morph into something new — either by necessity, fallout or uncontrollable circumstances. It can actually become much easier to embrace change than to try and hold on to the familiar that no longer exists. It may be difficult, and unpleasant, and even painful at first, but change eventually brings about something good in our lives.

Now you can see, so many women are successful, who once were told, they can’t.  The real reason for their success is the confidence to overcome challenges against the societies taboo and willingness to choose their choice of change. Check out this speech about Women Empowerment.

With this perspective and when given the opportunity, I strive to choose change. Even when it’s uncomfortable. Even when it’s painful. For change is the only way to truly grow.