The Paradox of Choice by Dr. Barry Schwartz

Posted on 11 Sep 2010 21:25

Confession. I'm a real geek for Ted Talks (although they sometimes present some real crap). I particularly love this talk by Dr. Barry Schwartz. If you don’t relate to most of the things Schwartz talks about in this video then you may have already discovered the secret to happiness!

Schwartz is a sociology professor at Swarthmore and author of "The Paradox of Choice: Why Less is More". In the talk he makes a great case for how the abundance of choice in our affluent Western society is making us miserable. The story Dr. Schwartz relates about buying a new pair of jeans made me laugh because that is ME. I want that pair of jeans too…the kind that used to be the only kind.

This is at work everywhere but I want to explain why I particularly want to include it in this blog which is supposedly about strength, conditioning and related goals. You see, I saw this so-called “Beginner’s Powerlifting” article and I was struck by the ridiculous complications and especially by the long list of exercise and exercise variations. I thought to myself, not only is it way too complex for a beginner but so many choices will make them crazy. They’ll spend all their time thinking about what they “shoulda done” whenever a workout doesn’t seem “perfect”.

At the same time I was considering powerlifting routines for beginners I was thinking about the research done on food buffets that I was blogging about earlier and also about the “abundance paradox”. That is how I came across this fascinating and quite funny talk.




Everyday I see another article or blog about how there are “so many great programs out there”. Perhaps it’s instinct but I never say that to people. You can’t be happy in your training when you are thinking about the million and one choices you might have made. In my recent post about self control I talked about how in order to successfully self regulate your behavior you have to be OK with your life in general. I think this is related.


This book is definitely next on my list. Sounds fascinating and could teach me a thing or two that will relate to my little corner of the world. Speaking of which having "your little corner of the world" may be what it is all about.


This page created 11 Sep 2010 21:25
Last updated 21 Oct 2015 19:31

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