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An option on options

india Updated: Mar 02, 2008 22:23 IST

Hindustan Times
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If you had to decide which cereal brand to buy, which movie to watch and which friend to visit, how would you make up your mind? Would you cross out the varying options and narrow down the choice to one in each category? Of course not, you’d keep all options up in the air and muddle along. But be warned, this will do you no good, according to a study by an Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor. Those whom he observed in his experiments were loath to let go of any option even when it cost them more than if they were to eliminate some of these.

This is bad news for those of us who believe in keeping our options open. Now all our life, it has been drummed into our heads that one should not put off till tomorrow what can be done today. But for most of us, there is an enormous comfort factor in putting things off. If you are pathologically inclined against exercising any option, it might be a good idea to leave the thinking to someone else. For those of us who are married or are in a relationship, the option, yes just that one, would be to leave the other person to take the decisions.

But therein lies the rub. Most of us shy away from exercising our options but are still cagey about someone else doing it
for us. For the rich, all this does not pose a dilemma. When faced with a Ferrari, Jaguar and Bentley, what do you plum for? Why, all of them while you shop around for a new home with enough parking space. But for the rest of us, it’s still decisions, decisions, decisions.