..was what to order at the coffee shop.
As I later thought about this, it was because I don’t come to coffee shops much anymore and I wanted to make a good decision. Iced, hot, flavored, not flavored, chai…..regular milk, soy, breve….caffeine, no caffeine, frozen…So many options. Then I thought, it’s just coffee. Just pick something already. I chose a hot chai tea latte made with half-and-half.
So am I happy about my decision? Sure. It’s nothing special – it’s a chai. But I’m sure I would’ve received any other options with similar neutrality. Who knows and why am I even spending the time to think about it?
I think it comes down to the amount of options we have at our fingertips and how, quite frankly, it’s often paralyzing. I remember speaking with a client once about his organization, which helps young adults transition to adulthood. He said many of these young people are simply overwhelmed with their options. Gone are the days of taking over the family business, women staying home to raise the kids, or people staying in jobs for their entire working career. There is simply an endless opportunity of what people can do, and that doesn’t necessarily mean a J-O-B. I choose to go outside of this mold and create my own livelihood – many others before me have done the same.
So how do we deal with all these options (from coffee to jobs and everything in between) that are infiltrating us daily? We learn to give up control from time to time and let others choose for us.
Now you must think I’m crazy. If it makes you feel any better, I think I’m crazy too. I was offered this idea by my husband. For as long as I can remember, we sometimes order each others’ meals when we go out to eat. Wait staff are always confused and people we are with usually think it’s nuts. The idea is two-fold: it gets us out of our comfort zones and forces us to try something we may not have chosen for ourselves and it allows us to give up control for just a moment, and that lessens the stress of making the “right” decision. A couple weeks ago, my husband sent me this TED talk video, which elegantly describes this very idea. The speaker discusses the paradox that counter to what we often think, people are happier with less choices.
I think this may describe why I am awful at parking in big parking lots – I get overwhelmed with the choices and figuring out which one is better. It’s just a parking spot. It’s just coffee. It’s just food. I wonder how much time and energy and unnecessary burden we put on ourselves through these small decisions?
Today, I vow to not get stressed out over my coffee choice. Or my parking spot. I vow to practice giving up the driver’s seat from time to time (even though it makes me a little anxious).
What choices do you struggle with? I’m interested in hearing.