Every once in a while you come into contact with something that completely flips your understanding of some part of the world around.
I hadn’t expected it when watching this TED Talk, but it happened. This is, to me, a genuinely novel way of thinking about things. It’s kind of amazing. My highlights below:
When alternatives are on a par, the reasons given to us, the ones that determine whether we're making a mistake, are silent as to what to do. It's here, in the space of hard choices, that we get to exercise our normative power, the power to create reasons for yourself, to make yourself into the kind of person [who embodies one choice over another].
This response in hard choices is a rational response, but it's not dictated by reasons given to us. Rather, it's supported by reasons created by us. When we create reasons for ourselves to become this kind of person rather than that, we wholeheartedly become the people that we are. You might say that we become the authors of our own lives.
So the lesson of hard choices reflect on what you can put your agency behind, on what you can be for, and through hard choices, become that person. Far from being sources of agony and dread, hard choices are precious opportunities for us to celebrate what is special about the human condition, that the reasons that govern our choices as correct or incorrect sometimes run out, and it is here, in the space of hard choices, that we have the power to create reasons for ourselves to become the distinctive people that we are. And that's why hard choices are not a curse but a godsend.
Lots to think about.