Choices, choices, choices, there are choices everywhere. Life is about choices. We make them everyday. In today’s world we are inundated with numerous choices for everything from butter to TV shows. Go anywhere in today’s world and the choices for any given product can number in the tens if not hundreds. While it is great to have a variety of choices for things we want, it can be equally distressing for some people. I submit that too much choice is a problem. Why do we need to have over 350 varieties of toothpaste? I kid you not; as of 2010 there were 352 varieties of toothpaste available in the US. That’s preposterous. For the most part toothpaste is toothpaste and I can certainly understand having some options, but 352? There are 175 varieties of salad dressing; my head is spinning!
Take a look at technology. Technology has given us the ability to work anywhere, anytime. This constant connection can create more choices and distract you from the choices you have already made. Potentially during your kid’s game or performance, you are making a choice to…
- Take a call
- Answer an email now or later
- Reply to the text from your client or call them back later when the kids go to bed
Technology itself distracts us from our lives with constant choices and decisions. Having this number of choices is distracting and unnecessary. Some psychology experts argue this can be anxiety inducing.
“Autonomy and Freedom of choice are critical to our well being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don’t seem to be benefiting from it psychologically.”
— The Paradox of Choice, 2004
Think for a moment about your most recent trip to the supermarket. Among the aisles and aisles of products how many redundant choices are there? I don’t know about you but I leave the supermarket feeling dizzy from all the choices sometimes. This is simply not necessary. We, in a sense become paralyzed into inaction when we are faced with too many options. Maybe it’s time we all take a look at the choices we have available to us individually and see how they are affecting our lives.
Bill Riccio, CFT, CFSC, TBBC Transformation Coach