It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I enjoy the work of Eliyahu M. Goldratt. There’s at least 3 calls a week where I mention his most popular contribution, The Theory of Constraints. The Choice may be one of his final books and that means it had less time to become as popular as his early work. There’s a big difference between popularity and impact—hint, we’ve got a podcast episode later this week that talks about the difference between Impact and Popularity. This book falls heavy on the impact side.
I like to describe this book as the most polite challenge to anyone’s world view.
The book’s format is written as a dialogue between Eliyahu and his daughter Efrat. In it Eliyahu introduces the prospect that the techniques of the hard sciences when applied to someone’s personal life can lead to a more fulfilling life.
The dialogue is relatable. Some of the challenges the characters face may require more of a business background than casual readers have. I’ve read a lot of Goldratt books and found this particular work as a capstone for his previous writing. I enjoyed it tremendously.
As someone who deals with anxiety and PTSD I have short fuses for attaching emotions to the events in life that don’t meet my expectations. I’ve been finding different techniques to disrupt these emotional fuses before they explore. This book provides a discipline that significantly helps to short circuit those emotional responses without taking the joy out of living. It allows emotion to become a choice.
While the book is called The Choice, and choosing your emotions is a particular aspect of the larger choice that the Goldratt’s advocate for this in this book. The broader choice is about whether or not to choose a more fulfilling life. It’s a choice that should have an obvious answer.
While the answer is obvious, we often lack the steps to move forward. In this book Goldratt presents the case as well as the steps to move forward. Goldratt’s technique involves techniques for treating the opportunities outside of our comfort zone as experiments where we learn from the outcome.
Goldratt’s most popular work emphasize the action that are the outcomes of his philosophy. This book carries a more well rounded picture, covering the philosophy through the logical actions to move forward.
I loved this book! I now routinely apply its principles, quote it, and recommend it. I also wanted to see if I could find the right words to share with Efrat how much I’m grateful for the impact it’s made in my life. Again, PTSD and Anxiety are real parts of how I have to live. I also have a responsibility to my family and coworkers. Navigating through that with a handicap presents some real challenges.
I wrote Efrat to say thank you and was glad she took the time to read my note for what it was. I wish I was better at finding the right words to really be able to share how grateful I am for the difference her work makes.
I love that we live in an era where I can share my gratitude with the people I’m grateful for. It might feel a bit out of your comfort zone, but I’d recommend experimenting with being grateful in your own space. Let me know how it goes in the comments below.