it’s a lazy Sunday and you’re relaxing in front of the TV when your stomach starts growling and you realize it’s lunch time and you’re hungry. Unsure what you want you Google “delivery near me”, and an endless list of selections pops up. You spend the next 30 minutes to an hour going through menus until you eventually give in and order the same whatever from your go-to spot. you’re hungry and could eat anything, yet why is it so hard to just commit to something? The answer is simple, choice overload. It’s not because you’re indecisive, or you have commitment issues, in your mind, there is always a next best thing. We are given so many choices in every aspect of our lives, that instead of committing to one thing, we find ourselves loosely holding on while waiting for the next best thing.
We live in the age of information, at a time where anything you want can be put right in front of you in a vast number of ways. Look at dating now verse how it was done prior. People tended to marry young because once they met their first love, they committed not knowing when the next one could appear in their life. So, you saw marriages to high school sweethearts, college loves, and that first love after a career was established.
We now have Match, Tinder, OkCupid, social dating events, and a host of other avenues to meet someone. Back then, to meet someone, you had to somehow cross paths, now there are no barriers, and everything has become fair game. Most people now just date, no longer looking for marriage, but just companionship. There are too many options to choose from, no one wants to commit in fear that something better will come along and they ended up settling.
The problem with choice overload is that it dilutes our thinking if you’re happy and in love what could be any simpler than that. The next one that comes along is just going to make you happy and in love, nothing really changes minus what he or she might look like and a few personality traits. You must look past the choices and simplify, what are the odds you meet another person like the one you’re with except better in some way? well if you love them the answer should be slim to none, and who would want to gamble with those odds.
Choice overload has also affected our career choices, where we now change directions on career paths and jump job to job at an average of every 3 years verse prior, where we would stick to one employer for 30 years. Look at a career path such as taxation, 30 years ago if you chose this path you were working at a public accounting firm, now a day it’s become so complicated that taxation as a career is too general and most companies now staff their own tax departments and have countless subgroups based on their complexity.
Say you start off as a tax accountant doing reporting at one company, then you want to try international taxation so you go to the next job, then you want to work in the tech industry because it pays better, so now you shift again, suddenly you realize you don’t like taxation and take a job with a public company working audit. The choices we have in front of us are just endless, but again I think we just don’t take the time to simplify, what do you like? What makes you happy and feel fulfilled? Until you can answer that, you’ll never stop job hopping.
Choice overload is not a bad thing, it’s always great to have many options to choose from. The problem is that we don’t take the time to truly understand who we are as individuals so we can make good choices and commit in a time where there is so much verity. Learn to write things down; you know what your likes and dislikes are, you know what you’re good at, you know what your passions are and what’s most important to you. By writing these things down and looking at them logically, it frees your mind to make a rash decision. If I know I like pizza, burgers, and sandwiches then why am I even bothering to look at the Indian and Asian menus, all that does is distract me from my goal of eating something I like. I wrote a post about creating a life wheel and using it to help you through challenges in life, read it and see if it gives you perspective on your thought processes, and helps you to commit to something in your life.