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too much choice is no choice at all

Ever sat in front of the TV and started flicking through the channels. So many options. Time goes by and before you know it, thirty minutes have passed. Nothing is chosen. Too much choice. Naturally, the choices are wonderful. It is great to choose what to watch and when to watch it. Saturday night, choose a movie. Scroll, scroll, scroll some more. Choose a movie, just choose a movie!

When I was younger in Jersey, Channel Islands we had 3 channels to choose from. No Netflix, no Optus fetch, No Foxtel. Three local channels. Not a lot to choose from. This created a lot of time for family, friends and the community.

It is not just TV where there is too much choice. Products in the supermarket, electronic products, services, technology and the list can go on and on and on.

Doesn’t more choice create more possibilities, more happiness, more health, more freedom?

I remember when Carsten first went shopping in Australia to get a box of cereal and discovered rows and rows of cereal. When he was younger in Switzerland he says the choice did not span over a complete shopping aisle and there were not as many cereal boxes aimed at children. I guess a lot less sugar too in them!

Choice can create more possibilities, greater health, happiness and freedom if you choose wisely.

Trying to decide on the right choice means asking yourself some questions.

    • This choice is it the right one for me?
    • Is something missing from this one, that I need?
    • What about this one, is it the healthy one?
  • Is this what I’ve been looking for?
  • Do I really need this?

Even when you question your choices you may find you are unsure, confused and lacking clarity to make a decision. Feeling overwhelmed – the paradox of choice.

What does the paradox of choice mean?

Then, why the tiredness? Decision fatigue, too much choice causes paralysis. It is confusing and can cause anxiety. When the wrong choice is made self-blame sets in.  Researcher and author of ‘The Paradox of Choice’, Barry Schwartz calls having too much choice, ‘choice overload‘. Barry Schwartz explains the paradox of choice in this TedTalk.

You get out what you choose. When you are tired you may make poor choices. You may have heard the saying ‘Never go shopping on an empty stomach’. This is because of the vast variety at the supermarket. Your choice may result in choosing because;

  •  it is the easiest and most accessible item at that moment,
  • you are seduced by the smell, the freshness, the quickness, the brand.

To choose incorrectly at the supermarket may set you back on your goals, your health goals or your financial goals. It does not need to be that way. You can choose wisely when you limit your options to a few wise choices.

Why you should narrow your focus?

To choose wisely is to understand less is more.  Fewer options give greater satisfaction. To stop the overwhelm from too many options, do your own research, know what you want, lower your expectation, be grateful and don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on your goals, focus on the right step for you. Your choice is choosing between the best or good enough. Best or good enough to help you achieve your goal. When you know your end goal. You will know what to choose.


Barry Schwartz quote

Narrow Your Goal As Too Much Choice Is No Choice At All

When starting my journey as a digital marketer via online education, I found there were so many choices within the training academy. The personal development, the affiliate market training and also 6000 courses in Lynda.com. It was only by focussing on the end goal and knowing what matters most to me, that I could narrow the choices down and commence following a guided plan.

lifestyleanytime, laptop lifestyle business
As it happens, a choice is a blessing and a curse. Pay attention to what makes you happy. Focus on what puts meaning into your life and take the steps needed to achieve your personal goals.


Lifestyle AnytimeAngie blogs about goals, productivity, blogging and social media marketing, as well as living abroad. She started blogging while learning the skills to start an online business. Her mission is to help others succeed with social media and blogging as well as live a laptop lifestyle while travelling in Australia. Angie often shares tips and tricks while walking the beaches and near the lake on the Central Coast NSW Australia

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Reference:

Joseph and Barry Schwartz. (2015). 2nd. “The Paradox of Choice”. Positive Psychology In Practice: Promoting Human Flourishing In Work, Health, Education, And Everyday Life.

Schwartz, B. (2018). The paradox of choice. [online] Ted.com. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.

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