Nowadays, in this modern world, to be able to get choices is part of our goals. Based on the official modern western dogma, it means to bring us freedom and happiness. But is that true?In theory, the more choices we can have, the more freedom we can get, and this idea to have it all, can become a reality.We develop high expectations; we build ideas and associate feelings with it. But sometimes too many choices are the source of our unhappiness.
In his book “The Paradox of Choice”, Barry Schwartz, the American psychologist, points out that having too many choices can produce paralysis and less satisfaction in our lives.Paralysis can happen when we have an excess of options. We look around; we see too much, and we get overwhelmed. That phenomenon happens very often in Asia. Visiting a market or a Shopping center here brings us a great number of alternatives; there is everything and very often more than what we wish for. By having more choices, do we buy more? Not really, studies show that we buy even less because having too many choices trapped us instead giving us freedom.
Less satisfaction is another consequence of having too many options. We tend to Upper our expectations and look for the perfect alternative. Items have to be in good quality, cheap, fashionable and-and-and…; we want it all! But at the end of the day, we come back at home unsatisfied with our shopping because even if the items respond to our expectations, they are never good enough or even close to being perfect.
Today, in our consumerist societies, we also have an infinite game of choices in more intimate and personal areas of our lives.We can choose if we want children or not, the number, with or without being married, with or without artificial insemination and so on. That’s part of the world evolution would you say and this is supposed to be good for us, Right? It is in many cases, but I believe that for some of us, it can also bring, a tremendous source of pain and suffering taking us beyond paralysis and satisfaction. Because of an excess of choices, we ask ourselves too many questions and try to get the best answers with the expected results. We tend to believe it’s a question of being right or wrong. But that is not the case; choices define who we are, and that’s why it is so difficult to take them.
So, what can we do? Well, the truth is there is no a correct answer. For the intimate and personal matters, we will have to take risks, and sometimes we will have to settle for what’s available instead looking for perfection.Uncertainty is what defines the risk! We want surprises, but only the “good” ones and not the “bad” ones. But life will always surprises us anyway. Is this going to give you happiness? That is part of the surprise!