Barry Schwartz Quotes
Books by Barry Schwartz
Best 27 Quotes by Barry Schwartz
“Focus on what makes you happy, and do what gives meaning to your life.”
“Happiness as a goal is a recipe for disaster.”
“The secret to happiness is low expectations.”
Practical Wisdom Quotes
“There is no more effective way to destroy the leadership potential of young officers and noncommissioned officers than to deny them opportunities to make decisions appropriate for their assignments.”
The Paradox of Choice Quotes
“By restricting our options, we will be able to choose less and feel better.”
“Choose less and feel better.”
“If you seek and accept only the best, you are a maximizer.”
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“Knowing what’s good enough requires knowing yourself and what you care about. So: Think about occasions in life when you settle, comfortably, for “good enough”; Scrutinize how you choose in those areas; Then apply that strategy more broadly.”
“Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard.”
“Most good decisions will involve these steps:
- Figure out your goal or goals.
- Evaluate the importance of each goal.
- Array the options.
- Evaluate how likely each of the options is to meet your goals.
- Pick the winning option.
- Later use the consequences of your choice to modify your goals, the importance you assign them, and the way you evaluate future possibilities.”
“Nobel Prize–winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman and his colleagues have shown that what we remember about the pleasurable quality of our past experiences is almost entirely determined by two things: how the experiences felt when they were at their peak (best or worst), and how they felt when they ended. This “peak-end” rule of Kahneman’s is what we use to summarize the experience, and then we rely on that summary later to remind ourselves of how the experience felt.”
“Part of the downside of abundant choice is that each new option adds to the list of trade-offs, and trade-offs have psychological consequences. The necessity of making trade-offs alters how we feel about the decisions we face; more important, it affects the level of satisfaction we experience from the decisions we ultimately make.”
“Something as trivial as a little gift of candy to medical residents improves the speed and accuracy of their diagnoses. In general, positive emotion enables us to broaden our understanding of what confronts us.”
“The alternative to maximizing is to be a satisficer. To satisfice is to settle for something that is good enough and not worry about the possibility that there might be something better.”
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“The existence of multiple alternatives makes it easy for us to imagine alternatives that don’t exist—alternatives that combine the attractive features of the ones that do exist. And to the extent that we engage our imaginations in this way, we will be even less satisfied with the alternative we end up choosing. So, once again, a greater variety of choices actually makes us feel worse.”
“The fact that some choice is good doesn’t necessarily mean that more choice is better.”
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“At every level, from the microcellular to the psychological, exercise not only wards off the ill effects of chronic stress; it can also reverse them.
Studies show that if researchers exercise rats that have been chronically stressed, that activity makes the hippocampus grow back to its preshriveled state.
The mechanisms by which exercise changes how we think and feel are so much more effective than donuts, medicines, and wine. When you say you feel less stressed out after you go for a swim, or even a fast walk, you are.”
“The mistake is to assume that the way it feels at the moment is the way it will feel forever.”
“The way that the meal or the music or the movie makes you feel in the moment—either good or bad—could be called experienced utility.”
“Unfortunately, the proliferation of choice in our lives robs us of the opportunity to decide for ourselves just how important any given decision is.”
“We are free to be the authors of our own lives, but we don't know what kind of lives we want to write.”
“We are surrounded by modern, time-saving devices, but we never seem to have enough time.”
“We get what we say we want, only to discover that what we want doesn’t satisfy us to the degree that we expect.”
“We have a tendency to look around at what others are doing and use them as a standard of comparison.”
“What we don’t realize is that the very option of being allowed to change our minds seems to increase the chances that we will change our minds.”
“When asked about what they regret most in the last six months, people tend to identify actions that didn’t meet expectations. But when asked about what they regret most when they look back on their lives as a whole, people tend to identify failures to act.”
“When people have no choice, life is almost unbearable.”
Why We Work Quotes
“Incentives can be a dangerous weapon. A critic of this research might say that the problem is not incentives, but dumb incentives. No doubt, some incentives are dumber than others. But no incentives can ever be smart enough to substitute for people who do the right thing because it’s the right thing.”
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“Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being.”