In a city with endless choices, its hard to make a choice. This is the paradox of choice.
Say you have 15 restaurant options for a happy hour and you decide on restaurant #2. You get there and you’re like “okay did I make the right decision?” and you often times second guess the decision you made.
“I bet place #6 had cheaper martinis”
“I feel like the #aesthetics are probably better at #11”
At this point, more is less because our mind is in a million places. The abundance of choices can cause great angst. But WAIT! There are ways to counteract these anxious feelings when it comes to too many choices.
A girl from my work & I went for a coffee break the other day and stumbled upon a small coffee shop a block or so from our office. We had no idea what to expect because we didn’t spend 20 minutes on the internet beforehand researching, “best coffee spots in Chelsea”.
We pulled the door open, slightly struggling against the captivating brisk wind, and looked around the coffee shop. Reaction: pleasantly surprised. Like a “ooo, awe. omg this is sooo cute we need to come back next week and take pictures in black shirts” kind of reaction. One large wall was covered in this Victorian-esque wallpaper. Shades of blues and creams made up the flowers flooded by a romantic, yet cozy, feel. Against the walls sat a mixture of white wood and shades of oak stained chairs. And in those chairs sat people blogging, reading paperback books, chatting with friends, and sipping on matcha lattes. The best part being that there was plenty of space for me to plop down and make myself at home as well.
Life requires spontaneity.
For mindless activities like grabbing a coffee, this is critical. We spend our lives planning and choosing. Choosing the “best” plans for a Friday night. Choosing the “best” vacation spot. Afterwards, we spend our time wondering if we made the “right” choice.
Having too many options can even prompt you to abscond from making a decision all together. If you have less options, you’re likely to be happier with the decision you made.
Barry Schwartz: “As the number of options increases, the costs, in time and effort, of gathering the information needed to make a good choice also increase, the level of certainty people have about their choice decreases. And the anticipation that they will regret their choice increases.”
Remember, there’s really no “best” or “right” options out there. Those terms are subjective.
Coffee Shop: MamanNYC