The High Art of Minimizing Choices

After the end of the Trojan War, Odysseus finally wanted to go home and see his family. Yet, it was not to be for another 10years. During his long journey home, he had to overcome several obstacles, among them Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla was a female sea monster, and Charybdis was a water torrent. The passage between the two was very narrow, and veering too much to either side would lead to imminent doom. Scylla and Charybdis became famous, and today we sometimes call these situations a Catch 22. We have become artful in designing our lives according to these situations, reducing our choices unnecessarily. What if
we could regain some of these lost choices and design our lives in a winning way?

Scylla and Charybdis have also become famous in the world of hypnosis. Their official name has become the “double bind”. A double bind gives the illusion of choice, with both choices leading to one outcomes. So, do you want to read my blog now, or rather later? Whatever you choose, either way would mean that you read my blog! We do the same thing with our lives: “What should I choose? Career or family?” Either way means giving up something that we want, losing something. (And then, after we made the choice, we tend to keep asking ourselves another killer question:”What if I chose the other one?” but that is another story…)

So, why do we choose to impose these double binds on ourselves? Who exactly said we had to choose either one? And, what if there were more choices than just the two? The real question is not either or, but really, how could we get what we really want without giving up something else?

When you start realizing what double binds you impose on yourself, you can begin to notice what boxes your sometimes force yourself into. Seeing the boundaries of these boxes then allows you to see what other choices you have, what other possibilities there are, and many times we have many more choices than just the few we give ourselves! Try this for starters:

“What are my choices?”
“What aren’t my choices?”
“How do I know that?”

Exploring your map by cycling through these questions will let you see your box and break free!

Want to know more about making choices? Read this

Let me know how this is for you and what you think of this by leaving a comment

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