TED Conversations

Aneesah Bakker

Owner/Director/Developer, Creative Change Coaching

This conversation is closed.

When we think we have no options, can we change our perception? Does having options make us happier?

Like with "everything", so too there "is" a paradox of choice.

1. Are we happier when we think we have a choice?
2. What if circumstances are such that there "are" no choices, e.g. during the holocaust. Lessons learned indicate that perceiving a choice in such circumstances can create "happiness".
3. Can too much choice, create unhappiness?
4. Are there different types of choices?
5. Whose responsibility is it to change our perception?
6. In any given situation, would you try to change the circumstances before you try to change your perspective?
7. Can the economics of happiness be separated from the economics of things/consumerism?

A related ted talk on the Ted radio hour is the talk by Barry Schwartz: Does Having Options Make Us Happier:


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • May 10 2012: Perception truly dictates what one experiences in life. Have you noticed when you're feeling abundant $20 in the grocery store will buy you everything you wanted, and when you are feeling lack you walk away with very little? Therefore in many instances changing your perception will change your circumstances. Other times, such as the Holocaust this will not work. However, I would guess the people who were able to keep hope alive and looked for ways to make the best of their situation faired better than those whose perspective was one of despair.

    All sides of every situation are always present, intuitively we can feel all sides, then choose what feeling we want. What life really boils down, very simplified of course, is how we want to feel. This explains why even in their darkest hour people still feel joyful, and others who have everything are miserable.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.