More options = happier life - Deepstash
More options = happier life

More options = happier life

In the modern age, the more options we have available, the happier we feel.

In Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, Psychiatrist Gordon Livingston writes that those who are most unwell or discouraged suffer from a sense of limited choices, sometimes brought on by external circumstances or illness, but most often by the ways we restrict ourselves.

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What you do for a career matters. How many of your personal problems are related to your work? How often does the stress of work affect your mood at home? Since work takes up most of our time, having more career options and happiness in your career automatically makes you a better person.

To have a good career, we need to prioritize learning over short-term goals like money. The more universal skills we have, the more opportunities we have.

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... or move on.

There are always options but we can't expect them to come for free. They come at a price. For example, increasing your skills means less leisure time or relationships. If you're willing to pay the price, you won't stay in the same place.

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We naturally fear loss more than we desire a potential gain. That fear of change keeps us where we are. That is also why most people stay in the same job or industry until they get fired or retire.

The paradox is that most people assume staying in the same place will be less risky. In reality, the opposite is true. The longer you stay in the same place, the more you're at risk of a loss. Unless we get comfortable with change, we can't choose a life that makes us happy.

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Opportunity Cost

Saying 'yes' to something automatically means saying 'no' to other possibilities. This is known as Opportunity Cost. It translates into the potential benefits that we miss by choosing one option over another.

Subconsciously we are aware that we can't do everything we want at the same time. However, when we are more aware of this concept, we can make better decisions.

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