772: Dan Ariely: How to Defeat Indecision and Regret

The harder a decision seems to be for people, the less likely it is that we will spend enough time researching it in order to determine what to do – but why is that, how should we handle the component of time when it comes to waiting to make decisions, and what can you do to eliminate the fear of regret in your life?

What to Listen For

  • Why do we spend a lot of time researching insignificant decisions and little time researching significant decisions?
  • How can you approach life-changing decisions from a neutral point of view so you can make the decision for the right reasons?
  • How do does action versus inaction affect our likelihood to regret a certain event and how can you change your perspective in order to eliminate regret?
  • How do we take time into account when deciding how much time to spend researching minor and major decisions?
  • What are the three types of decisions and how can your awareness of each one help you to avoid wasting valuable time
  • What is anchoring and how does it affect our decision making as we make decisions that build on one another and how can your awareness of it prevent you from falling into an unhealthy trap?
  • What are market norms and social norms and how do they affect your willingness to oblige someone’s request for help?
  • How do market norms reduce the trust between people and turn relationships into economic transactions?

We make decisions that affect our lives every single day. Some decisions are small, some are big, and some are repeated on a regular basis. Unfortunately, we only have so much time to think about these decisions so it can save us a lot of time if we at least understand how to approach each one. Small decisions, like what movie theater to go to or what appetizer to get, should take the least amount of our time since they impact our lives the least, and our time is better spent being present or contemplating more important decisions. Big decisions, like where to live or who to marry, should necessitate more time as they will have lasting effects on our lives. And lastly, decisions that are made regularly, like your morning routine or what to eat each day, should be automated as much as possible to reduce the drain on your willpower so that it can be used for resource-intensive tasks like work, or studying, or solving complex problems in your life. We only have so much time to live – don’t waste it on unimportant issues in your life.

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Resources from this Episode

Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely on Twitter
Dan’s podcast Arming the Donkeys
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely
The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely
Amazing Decisions by Dan Ariely
The Art of Charm Bootcamp in Vienna

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AJ Harbinger - author of 1139 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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