More options are better than fewer options.
Ok, well maybe not on the toothpaste aisle.
On the toothpaste aisle, 500 different toothpaste choices just feels like one more decision I have to make.
For large life decisions, however, this is not the case.
Greene calls this the difference between strategic thinking and formulaic thinking.
I mean, I would rather have 5 career options than 1, for example.
So how can we systematically put ourselves in better positions with more options?
I think this starts with using systems instead of goals.
After that, seek to put yourself in win-win situations.
Go ahead and try it in a small way.
Or drop out of school and see how many options you have.
Better yet, get a degree in mechanical engineering and a law degree – and see what happens.
To separate yourself from such a crowd, you need to get rid of a common misconception: the essence of strategy is not to carry out a brilliant plan that proceeds in steps; it is to put yourself in situations where you have more options than the enemy does. Instead of grasping at Option A as the single right answer, true strategy is positioning yourself to be able to do A, B, or C depending on the circumstances. That is strategic depth of thinking, as opposed to formulaic thinking.
-Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies Of War
Also published on Medium.