I sometimes feel like I say this all the time. I don’t know what it is, but it has always struck me odd that we equate endless choice with happiness. From what I see, choice and the pressure of decisions that comes with it makes us anything by happy. I’m not saying that some choice isn’t good, but we’ve gone a bit overboard.
To me, the idea that more choice is always good is an old idea that hasn’t been questioned for a long time. I’m guessing it comes from a time where most people had little to no choice. In profession, who they married, what they ate, what they wore, where they lived, etc. Don’t get be wrong, that sounds depressing and being able to make your own decisions regarding that is awesome, but I think that we’ve come a bit too far in some cases.
Like I said, the above scenario where there was no power to choose sounded awful, but the one thing it had going for it was that there was no pressure on you. If you didn’t like something about your life you had to say to yourself, “That’s just the way it is,” and move on. All of the blame could be, rightfully, applied to external factors. If you don’t get to make any decisions, you can’t make a wrong decision. Or more importantly, you can’t perceive that you made a wrong decision.
I think that this is more important in the smaller decisions in life. Take clothes shopping for instance. There are so many options for clothing out there, that in my mind I should be able to find clothes that I love the look of and fit absolutely perfectly. Even with all the different options, though, that’s a fool’s errand. I will always perceive that there is something better out there, so will keep looking rather than buying something that isn’t ideal. All the while, I’m pissed at myself for not being able to find the perfect match. I miss the days when your parents did the shopping and if you didn’t like something you could just say, “My mom picked it out, I hate it,” and move on. No blame, no fuss.
The same could be said for larger decisions. Growing up in a generation that was told we can be or do anything (not true, by the way, stop telling your kids that), it is on us to find out what this “ideal fit” will be. When we are told that there are no external barriers, the only thing holding us back is ourselves. It is us to blame if we don’t love our jobs and lives, no one else. That’s a lot of pressure.
What it comes down to, is that the blank canvas is scary and in some cases it’s much easier to colour in the lines. When you do find the perfect fit, though, I guess it makes the discovery that much sweeter. You have to be luck enough to luck into it, though.