Today Too Many Options Surround Us, Is It Good?
Today we live in a world that flooded with millions of choices, giving you all kinds of opportunities and directions to pick from. This is better than having no options. However, it is also very overwhelming when it comes to making a mistake, because you are faced with constant regret. Too many choices have a mental and emotional effect on our health and we need to learn to narrow them down to what’s important. Remember, one person cannot do everything.
Making decisions is a natural part of our existence as humans. It should also be an automatic response since it forms part of our wellbeing. However, having too much choice comes at a cost. We are guilty of allowing it to get the better of us because we create more room for more choices. Unfortunately, this heightens your risk of making bad decisions, developing anxiety, stress, dissatisfaction, paralysis, and even depression.
I’m guilty of doing this too. Sometimes it’s this great amount of choice that makes us feel unhappy. It is truly ironic, because who wouldn’t want to have an array of options? I mean, that sounds great! Well, it isn’t always, especially when one decision means dropping another, which then opens up 50 other doors.
Today The World Is Confusing
It’s all very well to teach your kids to follow their passions and maintain a clear vision no matter what. However, even when you do this, it’s still tough to keep a straight direction because there are often so many other, similar yet different paths to follow.
Today we have so many options, especially with the increase in interconnectivity and social media. Yet, these choices are making many of us feel very unhappy. Ultimately, the brain reaches a point of overload and prevents you from making a decision all together. Researcher Barry Schwartz says this is what he calls ‘choice overload.’ Of course, I am not talking about basic decision making like what color shirt to wear today. I am talking about having too many choices in your creative and professional lives. This amount of choice can cause you to stop making important decisions.
Schwartz explains that the amount of time, money and effort it takes to gather information to make a good decision increases with the more choices you’re faced with. That’s where life becomes tricky. With each new choice, you will become less certain about the choices you need to make. Therefore, your anticipation that you will regret your decision increases.
That’s why you must understand how and why you make decisions as this will help you make better choices in the future.
Today There Is Always Sacrifice
This is the scariest thing about making decisions in life. Whenever you choose one option, you’re not choosing another that could be just as good – if it works out.
This is the issue when creating too many options. Every time you’re in a pickle between too many choices, you will be faced with trade-offs, Schwartz says, and trade-offs have psychological consequences. When you have to consider different alternatives, it is easier to picture the alternatives as being more attractive.
Schwartz explains that the necessity of making trade-offs alters how we feel about the decisions we face. In fact, it affects the level of satisfaction we experience from the decisions we ultimately make.
Watch Out For Decision Fatigue
Interestingly, there are tons of articles out there talking about adrenal fatigue or work burn out, sickness and stress fatigue, etc. However, nobody ever speaks about the effects of having too many choices on your mind. Remember, your brain can only handle so much before it gets overworked and runs out of steam.
That’s why when you’re faced with lots of decisions at work, you might end up in a terrible mood. This is purely due to exhaustion. Research indicates that judges were more likely to give prisoners a favorable ruling at the beginning of the day and after a food break, than at the end of the day. Therefore, if you have big decisions to make – make them in the morning rather than when you’re tired late at night.
Sleeping on it is a good approach because you’ll have a clearer head to think.
Narrow Down Your Choices
Try to make decisions when you’re awake and rested. Sometimes, being presented with too many choices can exhaust our bodies entirely. Therefore, when the body is confronted with a bunch of options it immediately tries to conserve energy. Instead of weighing out all the options properly, we start making decisions on single factors like price. That’s why marketing should never give customers too many options to choose from, as they’ll get very lost.
Ultimately, people will find the variety in choice too tiring and will opt for the easier way out. This means your quality of choice may not be up to scratch.
Cap Your Option List
As I said, your brain can only process so much at a time. You have to stop creating opportunities eventually – as weird as that sounds. Try to pick one or two and then stick with those.
You need to know your own limitations and use them when making a choice in your professional and creative work. This will help you make a better thought-out decision. Therefore, when there are fewer opportunities or choices available, your ability to be creative increases because you’re more focused.
The bottom line: Give yourself fewer options to choose from so that you can be more creative with that specific choice.
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