Do you struggle with making large decisions or even small ones? It could be which major to choose, what job to go after, or maybe a relationship. There are so many choices it can be paralyzing to fully commit. There is a reason for this.
Humans are wired to make quick and easy decisions. Think of basic needs, food/water, shelter, protection, and other items for survival. For most of human history, these were our main concerns. We worked to care for our tribe and ourselves. Choices were limited, which made them easy. If you needed food, you went and hunted, foraged, or fished for calories. Case closed.
Nowadays, things have dramatically changed and continue to move at an incredible pace. In just a year or so I can go on Amazon Prime and have a drone bring me food, or ask Alexa to make the order for me. That's something our ancestors could never have imagined. Having drones bring you food is amazing, yet it is a symptom of a growing problem.
The Paradox of Choice
I learned about this issue a few years ago and realize it is a large struggle in my life. Here is an easy example to understand the paradox. Imagine you are at the local store to pick up toothpaste, you are not necessarily brand loyal, and just need a tube to clean your teeth. In scenario A, you go to the store and there are 4 options. The choice becomes easy, you look at the price, brand name, and maybe one other characteristic then pick your toothpaste and pay. Easy.
In scenario B, you are at the store and there are 100 options. You have ultra whitening, sensitive teeth, regular, some with swirls, and every combination imaginable. You stare at the wall of toothpaste wondering what to choose. Minutes pass, and all of a sudden you realize this decision is difficult. This is the paradox of choice.
As we gain more options, we become more conflicted. We see this with relationships, jobs, and school. There are many options before us. In the past, your options were limited, now there are multiple variables to consider. What to do?
I admit, this is a huge issue for me. I have jumped jobs frequently and always wonder if I have made the correct decision. The only real insight I have is to be patient in your choice. For example, at the beginning of 2017, I made a decision to stick with my company, Elisha Consulting - a marketing business, and BizLatte for the entire year. It is only April, and it's been a challenge. Job openings appear and I wonder if I made the right decision, yet I am being patient to see what can happen with dedicated attention to a singular path.
That is the advice I have for you. Make a choice, based on reason, and then stick with it for a minimum of a year to see the results. Really give it your all and see what a year of hard work does. You can always pick something new next year.