How Having More Options Naturally Leads To Limited Experiences
Our generation is constantly evolving. We live in an era where scientific and technological discoveries are made daily, and we are no longer amazed by the advantages new discoveries bring us. We expect improvements just like we expect a new iPhone model every September.
It's great, but it's no longer groundbreaking.
With expectations comes the fear of missing out. We fear missing out on experiences if we do not follow the newest trends, whether it's a social media obsession, technological gadget or new restaurant.
Even investors have been said to invest their money in entrepreneurs who leave them with an uneasy feeling they will miss their chance, unless they get in on the action. The very idea of following is based on the fact that we do not want to be left behind.
But behind from what, exactly?
The economy defines opportunity costs as ways of allocating your resources in one place at a time. Consequently, if resources are allocated in one place, they cannot be allocated elsewhere.
Every minute or dollar that is invested in one activity or item, can no longer be spent on something else. While we are not in charge of global economy, we are in charge of our lives.
This concept can be applied to our decision-making, from how we spend our time or money to how we choose whom we want to date.
We cannot spend money on material things and use it for travel. We cannot settle down with one person and keep on dating. We cannot spend the night watching Netflix and go out with our friends.
Bottom line? We cannot have our cake and eat it, too. Whether we want it or not, we have to make choices. And sometimes, it's easier said than done.
Living in cities provide us with unlimited opportunities that can open our eyes and expand our horizons. Yet, we are accompanied by the feeling we are not doing enough, and constantly missing out on something better and more exiting to do.
Unlimited choices provide us with the constant anxiety we are not making the right choices.
Less is more, and studies have shown we are more likely to make a decision if we are provided with less products to choose from. And it doesn't matter if we're making up our minds on where to eat or whom to talk to in a bar.
One experiment showed when customers were presented with a tasting of six jam samples and 24 jam samples, they were more likely to purchase the ones from the smaller sample.
It was easier to make a choice when there were less items to choose from. More options can be overwhelming, making us anxious we will later regret the choice we made.
Similarly, when interacting with a smaller crowd, we are more likely to engage in more meaningful conversations than when interacting with a large group of people. As F. Scott Fitzgerald once put it in "The Great Gatsby":
I like large parties. They're so intimate.
While there is more privacy than smaller parties, there are also less interactions, as people do not pay attention to others.
While this knowledge does not help us narrow down our choices, it helps us understand how we can consciously make final decisions. First, we must understand whatever we do, we have to be committed. There is no gray area allowed; you're either in or out.
Always looking for something more exciting to do will only make us focus on other things, and it will prevent us from fully appreciating what is in front of us. Texting or browsing Instagram while having dinner with friends does not let us enjoy either of the activities. Multitasking belongs on your résumé in your special skills section.
Secondly, when we make a choice, we must give it a shot, a real try. People often forget this when they're dating.
Talking to five people at a time does not let you make better choices. It often backfires, and instead of ending up with one person, you end up with zero. If you're always keeping your options open so something better can come along, others are probably doing the same.
Why not explore one option, and if it goes awry, then go to the next? While keeping your eggs in one basket might not seem like the smart choice, neither is keeping your eggs in five baskets.
Lastly, we make choices based on our intuition. Therefore, we must trust our instincts are not purposefully trying to ruin our lives. We must be confident we are making the right choices.
The word confidence comes from Latin word confidere, which means "have full trust." If we made this choice in the first place, why not linger in the moment and enjoy it for a bit?
Why not "have full trust" the decisions we make are great? Instead of weighing pros and cons or what else we could have done, why not enjoy the moment and stop waiting for better things to come along?