Ready to dive into some quotes about options in life?
Every choice we make in life creates more options. Sometimes the options are clear, and sometimes they’re not.
The thing that makes the most successful lifestyle designers is their mindset around optionality. They know that no matter what choice they make, there’s always another one around the corner.
Entrepreneurs also know the importance of optionality. They’re always on the lookout for new opportunities that will help them grow their businesses.
But what is optionality, and why is it so important? In today’s blog post, we’ll explore the concept of optionality and share some quotes from famous thinkers that will inspire you to take action. Stay tuned!
Quotes About Options and Optionality
Options, any options, by allowing you more upside than downside, are vectors of antifragility.
If you “have optionality,” you don’t have much need for what is commonly called intelligence, knowledge, insight, skills, and these complicated things that take place in our brain cells. For you don’t have to be right that often. All you need is the wisdom to not do unintelligent things to hurt yourself (some acts of omission) and recognize favorable outcomes when they occur. (The key is that your assessment doesn’t need to be made beforehand, only after the outcome.)
Option = asymmetry + rationality.Nassim Taleb
When you hold an option and the world moves with you, you enjoy the benefits; when the world moves against you, you are shielded from the bad outcome since you are not obligated to do anything. Optionality is the state of enjoying possibilities without being on the hook to do anything.Mihir A. Desai
It is a bit of a cliché to characterize life as a rambling journey on which we can alter our course at any given time–by the slightest turn of the wheel, the wisdom goes, we influence the chain of events and thus recast our destiny with new cohorts, circumstances, and discoveries. But for the most of us, life is nothing like that. Instead, we have a few brief periods when we are offered a handful of discrete options. Do I take this job or that job? In Chicago or New York? Do I join this circle of friends or that one, and with whom do I go home at the end of the night? And does one make time for children now? Or later? Or later still?
In that sense, life is less like a journey than it is a game of honeymoon bridge. In our twenties, when there is still so much time ahead of us, time that seems ample for a hundred indecisions, for a hundred visions and revisions–we draw a card, and we must decide right then and there whether to keep that card and discard the next, or discard the first card and keep the second. And before we know it, the deck has been played out and the decisions we have just made shape our lives for decades to come.Amor Towles
I like having options, alternate lives unlived but always possible.Abigail Padgett
In life, we should explore options outside our comfort zone.Dani Alves
If working remotely is such a great idea, why isn’t everyone doing it? I think it’s because we’ve been bred on the idea that work happens from 9 to 5, in offices and cubicles. It’s no wonder that most who are employed inside that model haven’t considered other options, or resist the idea that it could be any different. But it can.Jason Fried
Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.Chris Rock
Very few people understand their own choices, and end up being manipulated by those who want to sell them something. In that sense, impoverishment might even be desirable. […] To put it another way: if wealth is giving you fewer options instead of more (and more varied) options, you’re doing it wrong.Nassim Taleb
Every day brings new choices.Martha Beck
Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.Eckhart Tolle
Why are you going to choose failure when success is an option?Jillian Michaels
My goal is to just have options.Amanda Seales
When you get angry, your options narrow.Robert Greene
People forget they have options. And they forget that those things don’t really matter. They should concentrate on what they have and not what they don’t have. And by the way, wishing and dreaming doesn’t mean concentrating on what you don’t have, it’s positive thinking that encourages hoping and believing, not whinging and moaning.Cecelia Ahern
One thing my parents always taught me was to maximize my options.Monica Raymund
An option is what makes you antifragile and allows you to benefit from the positive side of uncertainty, without a corresponding serious harm from the negative side.Nassim Taleb
All of technology, really, is about maximizing free options.Nassim Taleb
We must dare to think ‘unthinkable’ thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world.J. William Fulbright
I always say don’t make plans, make options.Jennifer Aniston
Money is only a vehicle that provides you with options, and I say there’s only one thing that money can’t buy – poverty.Jerry Doyle
If you want to be a powerful woman, you need money. It gives you options and freedom so you don’t have to think about money all the time.Jen Sincero
You have as many options as you give yourself.Kasie West
Show people a positive path that enables them to make progress on their own terms. Give them options and alternatives that empower them.Mark Goulston
I don’t think that strategically it is smart to begin cutting your options when the other side does not move at all.Hillary Clinton
Certainly, by providing individuals coming out of institutions with ways to become productive citizens, we reduce recidivism. What that means is we reduce crime. There are fewer victims when individuals have options – when they have job skills, when they have life skills, we break the cycle of children following their parents into institutions.Loretta Lynch
The minute I was bored with a book or a subject I moved to another one, instead of giving up on reading altogether – when you are limited to the school material and you get bored, you have a tendency to give up and do nothing or play hooky out of discouragement.
The trick is to be bored with a specific book, rather than with the act of reading. So the number of the pages absorbed could grow faster than otherwise. And you find gold, so to speak, effortlessly, just as in rational but undirected trial-and-error-based research. It is exactly like options, trial and error, not getting stuck, bifurcating when necessary but keeping a sense of broad freedom and opportunism.
Trial and error is freedom.Nassim Taleb
Success means your options multiply. Size increases complexity, and complexity can confuse vision.Andy Stanley
It’s easy to make good decisions when there are no bad options.Robert Half
How a Flaneur Approaches Options in Life
A flaneur approaches options in life with a relaxed, open-minded perspective. Instead of constantly chasing after goals or getting stuck in a routine, they take time to explore different paths and appreciate the small, unexpected joys life has to offer.
They value the journey over the destination, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the present and remain receptive to new opportunities that come their way.
This casual, observational approach to life means that they’re not pressured to always make the “right” choice, but instead can choose paths that genuinely interest and engage them at any given moment.
It’s about a mindful approach to the options life presents, giving oneself the freedom to wander, explore, and discover new avenues without the stress of rigid expectations.
Contemplate and Create
Thought-Provoking Queries and Actionable Challenges
- Nassim Taleb mentioned that having optionality means you don’t need to rely heavily on intelligence, knowledge, or other skills, but rather on the wisdom to avoid unintelligent actions and to recognize favorable outcomes when they occur. How does this perspective resonate with you, and in what ways might embracing optionality influence your decision-making process?
- Eckhart Tolle speaks about three options in the face of an intolerable and unhappy situation: removal, change, or complete acceptance. Can you identify a moment in your life where you exercised one of these options? How did your choice affect the trajectory of your life, and what might have happened if you chose a different option?
- Explore Your Options: This week, dedicate time to exploring options outside your usual scope of action, as encouraged by Dani Alves. This could mean researching a topic you know little about, trying a new hobby, or simply changing your routine to include something new. Write down the options you explore and note any that you might want to integrate into your life on a more regular basis.
- Optionality Mind Map: Inspired by the various perspectives on options and optionality presented in the article, create a mind map that illustrates the different paths your life could take based on the options currently available to you. You might include career paths, personal development opportunities, or lifestyle choices. Once your map is created, identify one or two paths you find most appealing and brainstorm the initial steps you would need to take to start down those paths.
We’ve seen that optionality is a powerful tool when it comes to both our personal and professional lives. It allows us to maintain our flexibility and keep our options open while also giving us the power to make choices that will affect our future. With so many quotes about optionality out there, we wanted to know what your favorite one was.
Let us know in the comments below which quote about optionality you like and why?
You might also like these related quote collections: