Harvard Professor Reveals a Simple But Powerful Strategy To Make Decisions

April 4, 2024

Ellen Langer, Harvard University professor and author of The Power of Mindful Learning reveals a powerful strategy on decision making in her interview with Rich Roll.

“Rather than waste your time being stressed over making the right decision, make the decision right.

Randomly choose.

Now, you can randomly choose if you want an Almond Joy or a Snickers. Nobody’s going to care, right?

It’s the exact same thing about getting married or not, taking the job or not.

You can only live one life.

If there were some magical way that I could live a life as somebody who’s had three kids and then somebody who hasn’t had kids, maybe I can make a comparison.

But you don’t have that available to you.

So I say to my students, should you go to Harvard or should you go to Yale?

So they made a decision to go to Harvard.

So let’s say it’s terrible.

“Oh, I wish I had gone to Yale.”

There’s no way of knowing that Yale wouldn’t have been worse, better the same.

And that’s why regret is so mindless because the choice you didn’t take, you’re presuming would have been better.”

– Ellen Langer, Author of The Power of Mindful Learning 

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