Too Many Choices and My Menu Dilemma


Have you ever found yourself being overwhelmed by all the different options available to you?  The last time I went on Amazon to buy something, they presented me with so many varieties and price points that it almost took me longer to make a selection than it would have been to go to the store and just buy the thing.

If this has happened to you, it could be the way you’re processing your decisions.  Let me explain…

Throughout your school years and in most adult job situations, your brain has been trained to make the “right” choice or the “best” choice among many options.  And when you succeed, you reward yourself with a positive feeling that you’ve conquered an assignment, or even that you’re a better person because you chose “correctly” and didn't make a mistake.

Unfortunately, when faced with a choice that’s simply a matter of taste (movies, grocery items, clothing, etc.) it’s hard to turn that programming off, and your brain still automatically tries to find the best choice.  But in most cases there really isn’t a best choice, and your brain can get stuck in an endless cycle trying to figure things out.

A better way

The ah-ha answer for me came several years ago when I was sitting in a restaurant with my wife.  I was staring at the menu once again faced with too many choices, and I asked myself why I labor over this every time we go out to eat.  And then it hit me - I don’t need to pick the best entree in order to enjoy myself - I just need to pick something adequate.   And that simple revelation immediately freed up my brain to enjoy the rest of dining experience (being with my wife, a new atmosphere, being served, etc.).

So the next time you’re getting overwhelmed with choices, try this instead:

  1. Ask yourself - Am I stuck trying to find the “best” choice?
  2. Tell yourself (in matters of taste) that there’s no such thing as a best choice
  3. Make an adequate choice instead
  4. Feel good that you made a decision
  5. Choose to enjoy the rest of the experience

Who knows? By choosing adequate, you just may begin to discover some new things that you’ve been passing over in search of the best.

Now, if I can just remember this the next time I need to pick a Netflix show...