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Too Many Choices Mean No Choice

My wife and I were looking for something on Netflix and found ourselves repeating the scroll several times. Finally, the screen changed, and the graphic offered us a choice. It said, “just play something?”

Yes, please. Just play something so I can put the remote control down and get back to petting my dog. Thinking back on the moment, I was reminded of a book I read long ago.

In 2005, Barry Schwartz wrote Paradox of Choice. It challenged the traditional thinking that maximizing choice is the way to maximum freedom.  

It may feel good, but too many choices lead to decision fatigue.

Yes, too many choices are not necessarily good, and they can create paralysis. No matter what you choose, you’ll always wonder if you could have done better.

Here’s my advice to you:

1) Limit your choices. Having every option won’t serve you. Narrow your list to things that truly get your attention. 

2) If you find yourself confused, permit yourself to try other options.

3) If in doubt, choose to spend your time and attention on what you know gives you the desired results.  

There will always be too many choices in our modern life, but that doesn’t mean you must accept what is offered.