How To Deal With Too Much Choice
Whereas once we might be confined to set roles and expectations, particular locations, and predetermined beliefs, now we strive for individuality in a world of possibility. In these fast and furious times, the real difficulties of life are often based on having too much choice.
What could be wrong with having too much choice? Well, the truth is that often we are left baffled by options; lost in a world of our own fantasies and ‘what ifs’. Many of us strive for contentment and homeliness, yet crave adventure and flights of fancy.
Even our day-to-day lives can become plagued with a sense of doubt and unfettered desire as we struggle to choose what to wear, who to date, where to travel, and how to spend our free time given an infinite realm of entertainment options.
However, the first thing to consider is that the grass is not always greener on the other side. With the internet, celebrity culture and social media constantly showing us images of the lives we could be living, it is tempting to try to strike out at every impulse and glorify every lifestyle above your own.
Take a step back, and think about all of the things in your life that you value right now. If you love where you live, then there is really no need to think about other options. If you love your partner, then you don’t need to think about what would happen if you were dating someone else.
Dropping the ‘what ifs’ of life will help you to move forward with your own. Knowing what you enjoy and value right now will give you a strong foundation with which to move forward and make changes. You will never be able to find the elusive happiness that you search for unless you can learn to appreciate what you have.
It boils down to refining your options. If you imagine that you have all of the options in the world available to you, then you are sadly mistaken. Even if you have vast wealth or plenty of free time, you are still bound by certain situations and responsibilities. Do not be scared of this; it is what gives life a rooted meaning.
Understanding your limitations and boundaries will help you immensely when it comes to making choices. For example, if you have a loving partner and three children, then you will want to be a part of their life. This is a ‘limitation’ that would stop you from backpacking Asia alone for a year.
Your situation may not allow you to drop everything and leave for a desert island, but you may well be able to take a couple of weeks’ vacation, and this could be enough to satisfy your urge for adventure. By understanding your parameters, you can move closer to actually making something happen.
Let’s say you decide to take a vacation. Would you rather have a trip to the sunny beaches of Barbados, or would you go further afield and head to Macau? Again, the trick is to think about your own limitations compared to your preferences. Can you comfortably afford the extra air miles, or would you rather stay closer to home and have more cash spare for vacation spends? Are you looking for the entertainment and thrill of a new city, or the laid back atmosphere of a paradise island?
You must make a choice by understanding your limitations, examining your preferences, and defining your actions. This process can be applied to almost any dilemma in order to refine your options.
Don’t get caught up in a web of infinite possibilities. Once you know more about what you want (and what is within your reach), go ahead and make a decision. Stay true to your choices, and take positive steps towards your goals.