Agents of Mission: InstructureCon 0017 learned about the power of choice from Sheena S. Iyengar Wednesday morning in Keystone, Colorado.

Dr. Iyengar is the inaugural S.T. Lee professor of business in the Columbia Business School and is considered one of the world’s experts on the psychology of choice and decision-making. She explores those topics in her book, The Art of Choosing.

Dr. Iyengar talked about how her parents’ choice to leave India and eventually immigrate to the United States, the unexpected death of her father, and her diagnosis of a rare form of retinitis pigmentosa (which led to being blind) made her resilient and fueled her future decisions. She talked about three points on that path: Choice, Chance, and Fate. “We tell the stories of our life in terms of choice - the only tool that enables us to go from who we are today, to who we are tomorrow,” she said.

SHEENA IYENGAR

To get more out of choice in our everyday lives…

-Treat choosing as a mindset

-Imagine a future and set goals

-Decide which choices are important and which ones distract from our larger goals

And Dr. Iyengar ended with a challenge: “Don’t be afraid to lead. Don’t be afraid to create. To choose to is invent. Our ability to create and construct the most meaningful combinations for ourselves.”