A FATIGUED DECISION

A fatigued mind gives rise to clouded decisions. An overburdened mind goes wrong. When decision fatigue sets in, either we do nothing, or we take short cuts, or we maintain the status quo. Doing nothing eases the mental strain, but can create problems, may not be immediately, but in the long run. We have willpower. We possess a finite store of mental energy for exerting self-control. Willpower gets exhausted when repeatedly used in a short span of time. It is like a muscle that is fatigued with use. When willpower is depleted, one becomes a ‘cognitive miser’; if you are shopping, it makes you vulnerable and an easy target of the sellers and the marketers.  More difficult the choices, the quicker people become fatigued. A fatigued decision maker tries to take the path of least resistance. Often paths of least resistance don’t take us to desired destinations. Decision fatigue and willpower are special problems for poor people. The poor have less buying power. They become satisfied more easily. Choices generally don’t matter much to them. Compared to the rich, the poor are much more likely to eat during the shopping trip. They do more ‘impulse purchases’. They do this despite  their lesser spending capacity. The impulse purchase reflects a lesser hold on our self-control. We make so many decisions every day.  Our cumulative decisions affect our willpower. When our willpower becomes weak, our frustrations become more irritating. We develop a “propensity to experience everything more intently.” It is not easy to know when we are decision fatigued and when our willpower is low. We think we are always ready to make decisions.

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