You’ve been there, we all have. Moments when you’re faced with a bucket of choices and time sways in anticipation as you hold the power to make a decision. Maybe your election regards a simple purpose or maybe it’s for a life changing event. No matter whether your judgement is about to effect a big or small part of your life, for many, the simple action of actually deciding seems to consume way more of our mental energy than it should. Why? Well, for starters people have been lying to you your whole life;
M o r e Doesn’t Always
Mean M e r r i e r.
Matter of fact, having an abundance of choices means spending greater amounts of mental energy on the many more options there are to consider. Many people believe the more choices they have, the better their life will be, or worse, the happier they will be. They want to believe there is joy in having this rainbow of variety, but in reality there is less.
It happens all the time. We finally amp up the energy to make a vote and then we think about it for hours, days or weeks after its been made. Could I have chosen a better meal?Should I have worn something different? Could I have chosen a better mate? A better car? A better (FILL IN THE BLANK WITH LITERALLY ANYTHING)? Why do we do this to ourselves? The reason is because we’ve been given so many choices, therefore we’ve also been given more opportunity for
D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n .
With good comes bad, people. It’s how life operates. Thinking about everything that “could have been” never seems to sit well with any of us. This increase of privilege brings an increase in contemplating combinations in which every single one of us has, at point or another, lost sleep over. What could have been “better” than what I chose? See, the odds are already stacked against you since in the end, you’re only capable of choosing so much. It’s sure dam hard to be happy with your lonely little decision when several, seemingly amazing, selections are shaming you.
Hushing out all the noise of choice doesn’t work either. As humans, we need to have some type of choice because having none at all makes us feel helpless and angry at the world. It’s about, dare I say it, only having SOME choices. We can’t have it all, although many drive themselves insane believing they can, and we won’t be happy if we have nothing to choose from. For a balance between health and happiness, allow yourself some choice. Not all. Not none.
If you don’t know how to do that, remember the best choice is the one you create and make for yourself.
For more information, check out Barry Schwartz and his book, The Paradox of Choice. Sure to be my next read!