A dear friend once said I made them crazy because I would ask a dozen people for their opinion and then ignore what everyone said and do “whatever the hell I wanted to anyway.”
I laughed because there is some truth to that.
When I am about to purchase certain items or make some bigger decisions it is not uncommon for me to research the options and ask others for their opinions.
I do my best to listen to what they have to say and to determine who has shared something that’s meaningful, important and significant.
And then I’ll make my choice and yeah, I still do whatever the hell I want to do. It is not because I ignored everything I heard but because I already had a pretty good idea of what direction I wanted to go in.
You can call it a gut feeling or intuition if you want.
I like to think of it as being a smart shopper but that also means I refuse to let myself get trapped by paralysis of analysis.
Sometimes you make the best choice you can based upon limited information and live with it. Action always makes me feel better than inaction.
Are There Really Too Many Choices?
In the good old days it used to be easy to make a choice because you only had a few options.
Now you go to a restaurant and are faced with trying to decide if you really feel like eating a sandwich because there are 27 different kinds to choose from.
But not to worry, because the 100 page menu also offers soup, salad, pasta, steak, Chinese, Japanese and some sort of fusion of all of the above.
It is not any different trying to buy a car, television or new smartphone either.
Are there really too many choices out there is it far less complicated than we make it.
Depends on how you look at it all.
Gladwell’s quote offers a good description of my approach to making choices in far fewer words than I used.
Have I mentioned that sometimes brevity and I are at odds? 😉
How Hard Is It To Make A Choice?
It would be false to say I haven’t ever agonized over a decision or that I never had any regrets about the choices I have made but for the most part there haven’t been many.
Age and life experience and becoming a parent have have helped with that.
The most difficult choices I have made have almost always been centered around being a father but in my 16th year of parenting it is clear that some concerns just aren’t worth the stress.
You never want to make a choice that is going to hurt your kids but as you go along you see that some fears never have real substance.
When you look hard upon them and think about your own life it becomes clear that there aren’t that many decisions that are earth shattering.
Of Apples & Androids
So the agony I went through trying to figure out if it made sense to move from an Android to an Apple smartphone was far simpler for me than for some people.
I struggled for a brief bit about it and then went for it because there was more stress sitting on the pointy fence than standing on either side.
Six or seven years of Android use made it less inviting to move because I know what Apps work best for me and understand how to make the phone work.
I didn’t worry about memory because it was easy to expand with MicroSD cards that I could swap in and out as needed.
And that my friends was really the crux of it.
I was comfortable with what I had and concerned about the memory issue that might come with moving to a phone that doesn’t let you swap memory cards.
But I wasn’t comfortable with phones that seemed to break down 18 months into using them any longer so I made a change.
If it doesn’t work the way I want it to, well in a while I’ll change back to Android. It wasn’t a life commitment.
The Value Of Change
Sometimes the kids ask if we are moving back to Texas or somewhere else and I smile at them and say maybe.
I’m not being coy or trying to tease them about it.
I smile because I didn’t want to move and circumstances forced me to.
Hell, there were a lot of things I didn’t want to do but did because circumstances forced me to.
But what I learned through all of it was how much easier it can be to go through changes when you just roll with it and that some decisions are much easier than we make them out to be.
Some of my ease with it comes from my not caring very much about possessions.
Oh sure, there are some things that are important to me and I hold onto those with the kind of grip that would make a gorilla jealous.
But most things, not so much.
Things come and go.
Time, circumstances and or people can take your possessions away.
But not memories, not experiences, those are yours forever.
So in some ways I have come to value change because it forced me to reevaluate how I look at some things and appreciate others.
Those experiences have helped make me who I am now and will certainly impact who I will become.
I don’t have time to stress out about every decision or to worry about making the perfect choice. I only have time to worry about making the right one.