Home > Ideas and Philosophy > Tactics in Life: Make Things Happen By Limiting or Giving No Choices

Tactics in Life: Make Things Happen By Limiting or Giving No Choices

February 26, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

In principle, it seems like a very good thing to have plenty of choices.  More is better; if you don’t like the first option, then it’s simply wonderful to be free to choose from a myriad of other options.  It thus feels counter-intuitive to put limitations in one’s choices.

However, having one too many choices can also be problematic.  With so many options to choose from, there’s a risk of suffering from “analysis paralysis.”  It can be a challenge to choose between many similar and just-as-good options.  Rather than being helpful, sometimes having too many choices delays if not outright prevents one from executing an action or making a decision.  This result in things happening later rather than sooner, or worse, not happening at all, if one gets stuck with the choices.

It’s ironic that there seems to be less freedom when you have too many choices, for such can lead to appropriate action getting delayed, if at all pushing through, because a decision couldn’t be made from all the options available.

xkcd-1801-decision-paralysis

If you give someone the option to decline a request then don’t feel bad if they actually do just that.  If it’s that important for you to have someone do something, then state it plainly and make him do it.  Tell him directly what you need him to do without giving him the choice to say “no” since such matters that much to you.

However there’s no point in offering someone the option to decline doing something if the option literally doesn’t even exist.  It’s also a waste of time bothering someone by asking him if he wants to do something or not, if he doesn’t have a choice but to do it.  You simply state that he needs to do it, and he’ll have to do it whether he likes it or not.

If you need something done then it has to be done.  Don’t give people the option to say “no.”  If you absolutely must give options, then limit and tailor whatever options you have to offer so that it leads to the outcome you want.  Make things happen by limiting the choices or not giving any choice at all.

Caveat: This tactic is only right, though, if what you want done isn’t something morally and / or legally reprehensible.  If such isn’t the case, then it’s only proper to expect strong dissent in what you want to happen.

There’s something to be said about exploring other options; it’s a good thing, in fact even necessary, at times.  But there’s also truth in that actions and command decisions happen and sometimes happen faster when there aren’t many choices, or if there isn’t any choice at all.  The key is to discern when it makes sense to entertain as many options as possible, or when to limit or remove such.  But if you know something needs to get done, there’s nothing immoral about it, and there’s only few ways or only one way of making such happen, then there aren’t many options in the matter.

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Categories: Ideas and Philosophy
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