Too Many Choices?
This came to light for me during a recent workshop I presented on Eating Healthy and Staying Active for Busy Professionals. As we talked about the different food options, a few participants chimed in about how overwhelmed they felt with all the different choices. “What do I do?” and “How do I know I’m doing the right thing for my family?” were common concerns among the group. A new and interesting perspective.
This is why I don’t like going to the mall and much prefer heading to a single shop when I need something. I find the over-abundance of store choices overwhelming. At the grocery store this week I noticed a woman looking for a bottle of maple syrup. I could hear her frustration with every sigh as she picked up one bottle, put it down, picked up another, commenting on the ingredient list. Too many syrup choices. (Hint: If the sole ingredient isn’t “pure maple syrup” consider leaving it on the shelf.)
Earlier this week a friend forwarded the following video: Barry Schwartz: the Paradox of Choice. Schwartz suggests that with too many choices:
- We become paralyzed, unable to make a decision
- We are less satisfied, wondering “Did I make the right choice”
- We expect more. And that an escalation of expectations = less satisfaction even when results are good.
The secret to happiness, according to Schwartz: Low expectations
I’m interested in hearing your perspective about choices.
The video is around 20 minutes if you choose to watch it.
Having trouble viewing the video? Click here.
What do you think? Do you ever become overwhelmed by the number of choices you have? Or do you appreciate the options? Or maybe it depends on what you need to decide?