What is common between Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs ?

All three of them wear/wore basically the same thing every day: Obama a blue or gray suit, Zuckerberg a gray T-shirt and Jobs his signature turtle neck tee and Blue Jeans.

What is common between them?
What is common between them?

What’s with these Men and their Uniforms?

What does the World’s most powerful man have to say about this weird behavior:

Barack Obama “I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing because I have too many other decisions to make.”

And what does Mark’s grey Tee say about how he works his grey matter.

Mark Zuckerberg “I get to wake up every day and help serve more than a billion people. And I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life,”

Steve Job’s personal uniform of black turtle necks and Jeans was very well known in the Silicon Valley and outside too.

Mental Muscles and Decision Fatigue

Mental muscle required to decide what to cook or eat today, what to wear for the meeting, whether to run and catch this train or wait for the next one, the font type and size to use in the report are exactly the same mental muscles that are also required to take decisions for the billion dollar deal that has the potential to change your future, or the critical hiring decision or sealing the partnership deal.

Neuro Scientists call this concept as the ‘decision fatigue’. Decision making is a limited resources which we use up every time we take a decision immaterial of whether decisions are big or small!!

Wearing out your mental muscle

Can you believe that … You use the same limited resource to decide between coffee and tea and between which one of the two prospective brides/grooms to choose from ? This also means if you have taken too many decisions on Coffee/Tea during the day, by the time you have to decide on your bride/groom, you are too tired to think over it and may go with your default choices without considering all the critical points.

When you spend your mental muscles earlier in the day taking frivolous decisions on what to wear, what to eat, which train/bus to catch, should I take the share auto or hail a cab, which toll line will get me out on the road faster we are exhausting this limited mental resource. Being patient in the queue and crowd, take some more of the will power too. No wonder many are drained before their work day starts and no wonder shopping is as tiring as running a marathon if not more.

Paradox of Choice

We often think choice is a good thing and most people try hard to keep their options open, be it with dating or with jobs or even with Fruit Jams. In the context of decision making, choices may not be a good thing at all. In the now famous Jam study conducted by Sheena Iyengar, 6 Jams displayed attracted lesser crowd than a display of 24 variety of Jams but got much more sales. It was also found in US that as the number of choices increased in the 401 K plan, participation of employees dropped.  Choices also increase opportunity cost of a decision their by reducing the satisfaction derived from a choice made.

Henry Ford’s masterful choice of making Model T in only black freed him to focus on making the best automobile rather than trying to figure out if they should paint the cars lime green or cherry red.

Paradox of choice - jam study
Paradox of choice

What does this mean to us and how can we use this knowledge better?

If you are a marketer or a leader who wants to influence people to comply to or adapt to something new limit the number of choices you provide them. Optimize your schedule by following the rules of automate, delegate or eliminate. Just by being conscious of the mental fatigue, makes one act differently. Here are some things you can do that will help you conserve the use of your precious mental muscle.


  1. Don’t have a overflowing or a walk in wardrobe with 100’s of choices. A fairly simple rule of what goes with what should work for most people.
  2. Have same meals or atleast a rule based schedule for your meals.
  3. Have a recurring list of Groceries and preferable order online. Many of these apps like Grofers, Big Basket allow you to save a custom repeatable list that you can use for recurring purchases like Curd every week, oil every month etc.


  4. Give your team permission to take decisions that do not have high impacts. Your team here could be anyone including your spouse, child or even your maid. Let them decide which brand atta or which flavored icecream to get or in what order certain activities are to be done.


  5. Factory workers and school children are blessed with uniforms eliminating any need for decisions on what to wear everyday. Some schools and factories provide food and eliminate decision making in the cooking and eating aspects too. But if like Google one has 16 canteens all free that is another whole new dimension.

Rejuvenating your mental muscles

Your mental muscles and willpower is maximum at day break when you are fresh. So plan your important meetings or pondering over or coding time in the beginning of the day or whenever your energy levels are maximum. On the flip side, you may plan some of the insignificant but important stuff like what to cook and wear (if you are not going to stick to rule or uniformity) on the previous night itself.

Sleep and Meditations are great ways to rejuvenate your mental muscles too. A short nap in the afternoon can give you much more to your day than you can imagine. Winston Churchill, Edison and many other leaders had the habit of mid- afternoon siesta to refresh themselves. Meditation with a timer is a good alternative too.

What has your experience been and what will/do you do to reduce the decision fatigue?

Published by

Priya Krishnamoorthy

Exploring the Journey of life everyday with a new outlook

42 thoughts on “What is common between Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs ?”

  1. Pingback: porn
  2. Pingback: tøjbutik
  3. Pingback: tren a and tren e
  4. Pingback: stanoxyl depot
  5. Pingback: joe de saram
  6. Pingback: rhodium
  7. Pingback: joseph de saram
  8. Pingback: rhodium
  9. Pingback: economics tuition
  10. Pingback: para kazanmak
  11. Pingback: venus factor
  12. Pingback: URL
  13. I’m on the lookout to determine the maximum amount of relating to the over the internet exploring town after i can. Can most people advocate their most favorite web blogs, myspace takes care of, or sites that you really realize most comprehensive? Those that are most famous? Kudos! .

  14. Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.

  15. Just wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your publish
    is simply excellent and i could suppose you are a professional on this subject.
    Well along with your permission let me to snatch your feed to
    stay up to date with coming near near post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please continue the rewarding work.

  16. I think that everything said made a lot of sense.
    However, what about this? what if you composed a catchier title?
    I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your blog, however what if you added a post title that
    makes people desire more? I mean What is common between Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs ?
    | We Are The Living is kinda boring. You ought to peek at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create news titles to get people
    to open the links. You might add a video or a related
    picture or two to grab readers interested about what you’ve written. In my
    opinion, it would bring your posts a little livelier.

  17. qTFIav You are so awesome! I do not believe I ave truly read anything like this before.

  18. You’re so interesting! I don’t believe I’ve go through anything like that before.
    So good to find somebody with unique ideas on this issue.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This internet site is a thing that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

  19. Tell me about it! I had one of those moments this evening, where I had to explain why Mr Tesco couldn’t deliver Chocolate Buttons, straight after me clicking on the computer. After much inventive use of language, Big Bro was sufficiently happy with the explanation that Mr Tesco has to deliver everyone else’s buttons first before he can get to us! XD

  20. Just like a car on a highway, the mind cruises along smoothly until it reaches a junction, where it has to stop for traffic lights. Your article tells us exactly how to take the highway and avoid roads with traffic lights 🙂

Comments are closed.