[The Art of Choosing]
By Danielle Hall
In the second part of chapter 6 of The Art of Choosing, Sheena
Iyengar discusses the advantages and disadvantages of “keeping doors
open” (201). Iyengar makes some useful connections throughout this
section. More notably is the link between creativity and the practice of
restrictive choice where she concludes that “creative disciplines” are
where we can look "for guidance” (214).
Iyengar discusses how inventors and artists now come to know the value
of restrictive choice(s) and while some boundaries are broken, newer
ones can still be defined. One concept that is useful to consider is
Iyengar’s proposition that “to choose is to invent,” by which she means
that "choosing is a creative process, one through which we construct
our environment, our lives, our selves" (213).
Which idea -- "restrictive choice" or choosing as a creative process -- drew your attention most? Why?
The idea of restrictive choice has definitely caught my attention the most. If I am understanding the idea of "restrictive choice" correctly,I like the way that it can apply to just about anything. Decision making is hard especially when you're not certain of the outcomes from any of the choices. Elimination of choices makes a decision much easier. Narrowing down choices help a person focus their attention for precisely and rid of worry. Which I feel everyone should try to apply to everyday life, because maybe then days would go by a bit more smoothly.
I like the idea of choosing as a creative process. Not every choice that we make should come from thinking about it for hours on end after over-analyzing an issue. That is far too safe. Sometimes we have to take risks and break through the restrictions that are set for us. That is actually a problem with our education system today; it is set up in a way that diminishes creativity. Which is unfortunate, because from creativity arises innovative ideas that change our world.
I also found restrictive choice interesting because I recently saw an interview with Jack White of White Stripes who also discussed that sometimes you have to restrict yourself in order to push yourself to new limits which I entirely believe to be true. I think when you have to think of how to be creative within guidelines is an entirely new level of creativity.
The idea of choosing as a creative process was more interesting to me. I feel as if restricting oneself cuts off possible opportunities one could take whereas having the freedom to choose and therefore "invent" oneself. It seems like more of the "don't hold back" mentality and that to me sounds more desirable.
I like the idea of restrictive choice. For me personally, I know that when I have to make a choice or decision about something I like to think of all the possible outcomes then narrow down or eliminate possible outcomes to make it easier for me to decide. Eliminating options helps to keep me on track and focused on what I want. But like Aliyah mentioned, I also believe that restrictive choice may diminish an individual's creativity.
Choosing as a creative process drew my attention more, because I've always thought of choosing as a constructive choice, but I didn't realize that being constructive and being creative can be one in the same. To construct is to create. Iyengar says that we construct ourselves and our lives with our choices. Just like an artist imagines what they want their work to look like and makes choices by which they can get that result, we imagine what we want our lives to be like and make choices that get us closer to that life we invision.
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