Why having choices is Making us Unhappy?

Remember the times when life used to be pretty simple? Doing farming for a living and you only had the Red Dabur Dant Manjan to clean your teeth. Ahhh Good times! Today if you go to a supermarket, you will see a variety of toothpastes and more often than not, you will get confused as to which one should you buy. I know I am always confused when there are a lot of choices. I just stand there in the toothpaste aisle wondering whether I need to get a toothpaste that whitens my teeth or the one with natural ingredients in it or should I buy the one for sensitive teeth. And the choice is really difficult.

And this is just about tooth paste, if I have to buy all the groceries the same day, I will probably be in the supermarket for hours, spending good time in each aisle. Again, it is not just about buying groceries, now a days there are just too many choices when it comes to decisions in life. You want to buy a phone? There are thousands in the market! There used to be a time when there were only a few in the market like two or three and it was easy to decide depending on the budget. But what do u do when 100 phones are available in your budget and all have very similar features to offer?

YOU GET THE POINT, RIGHT?

And having choices is supposed to be a good thing because it gives you more freedom. And this freedom is everywhere today because we have so many choices! Be it our careers, lifestyle, marriages, clothes, jewelry and whatever, there are just thousands of choices available. But let me tell you when having choices is bad.

Before we got married, obviously there was a lot of shopping that we had to do(like all Indian Weddings). Now we went to this big store to buy a saree, and this saree was the last thing on my list and I was really happy about it. The sales guy showed me a variety of sarees and I finally managed to shortlist one that I really liked. I was about to tell the guy to get it packed and all, but then he brought out another saree and a really beautiful one. Now I got really confused about which one should I buy because they were both really pretty and different from each other. And you know what? I bought both of them! Because I couldn’t leave either one behind because I knew that the minute I leave the store, I’ll regret leaving one of those sarees behind.

Having choices is bad for relationships as well. Earlier people used to value their relationships and divorces and break-ups weren’t easy choices. People used to work hard to make marriages work but having choices has let millennials develop this “Run from the situation” attitude. They simply walk out of relationships because they feel like they have a lot of other options and they will find someone with whom they can click better. I am not saying that you should continue being in a bad relationship, I am just saying that we have stopped putting in efforts to make things work and have become more and more self centered. In India specially, If it is a love marriage and things go wrong between the two people, you will never hear the end of ” Of all the boys/Girls in the world, you had to marry this one! And how this was a bad choice and how people knew from the very beginning!”

Having so many choices when it comes to career is also making the young generation unhappy. Very few people are happy with the jobs that they have and are always looking out for better jobs or other career prospects. It is okay for when you want to switch because there isn’t much scope for you to grow in your present job, but Imagine doing this ALL THE TIME? Always being on a lookout for better jobs? WILL THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY? 

HECK, if you are tired of having to make all these choices and just want to watch television, there are again hundreds of shows that are there and to get the best content, you get subscription on Netflix, but then you feel like you are missing out on other shows and you want to give yourself that choice, so you get the Cable connection as well. But the cable has a lot of Ads and you want to watch movies without ads, so you get Amazon Prime video as well! Having a lot of choices paralyzes us in a way because there is this constant fear of making the wrong choice!

WELL WHAT SHOULD WE DO THEN?

The best advice that I can give you is to put your own constraints when it comes to decision making. This will help you shorten the list of options that you might have and make your decisions a little easier. Another advice, when it comes to choices regarding your career is to JUST keep doing something! I know it might sound lame at first, but this is really the best advice. Focus on things at your workplace and try and be more involved in the activities going on in the office. Basically, Just SUCK it up, until something better comes your way, You will know when it does!

Letting yourself to have less options to choose from might be your saving grace and help you make better decisions!

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