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February 24th, 2015

I think it’s like a muscle that you need to build up with exercise. You practice by forcing yourself to focus on the positive aspects of your experiences and over time, this becomes more and more automatic, the muscle gets stronger and the negativity bias is overcome – Barry Schwartz

By Ron Nakamoto

The blog post below by Eric Barker features the work of Barry Schwartz, author of "The Paradox of Choice". Schwartz's basic premise, backed by his research, is that having too many choices in our lives has become overwhelming, leading to greater unhappiness rather than happiness.

Over a decade ago, Empowered Wealth commissioned a study that indicated that the loss of choice and control was the number one fear of affluent families. Juxtaposed with Schwartz's work, there is indeed a paradox: we fear loss of choice and control but the reality of having so many choices makes us unhappy.

Empowered Wealth has adopted the acronym VUCA (which stands for "volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous") to describe the world that we live in (i.e., this world of too many choices). As one might surmise from Schwartz's quote above, he advocates the practice of Gratitude as one of several methods to become happier in a VUCA world. This is very consistent with the Empowered Wealth Mindset and our education, training, and coaching programs.

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