Choice vs Choices.


I have always been fascinated by the psychology of choice(s). How often have we heard of people who complain endlessly about not having enough choices in their lives. That they do not have the luxury to make decisions due to a lack of choices. At the same time, there are people who are spoiled by the luxury of choices that they wish their lives were made simpler by fewer choices. You can’t have it both ways!

Logic assumes that a person with ample choices is in a better position compared to another person who is deprived of that privilege. The reasons are: i) choices empower people; ii) choices grant freedom for people to dictate their future, and iii) by comparing the different choices, people gain valuable insights into  what the future holds. Nevertheless, this superior position comes with a psychological burden.

Funnily enough, it seems to me that the more choices a person has at his/her disposal, the more likely he/she is going to struggle, or maybe it is just me suffering from this dilemma due to my indecisiveness. Anyway, I put this down to opportunity cost – when people have more choices, it becomes more difficult for them to make the ‘right’ decision, because
they become afraid of taking the wrong step, which means missing out on the opportunities that the other choice(s) presents. It is only human nature that we are always afraid of losing out on something – which is the very root of success of  mega sales as they capitalise and tap on our feelings of insecurity. In contrast, a person dealing with a sole choice need not worry – obviously, things are pretty straightforward because there is nothing to lose.

This can be related to my own experience. Having just graduated recently, I am lucky that my job hunting process has been relatively smooth-sailing. As of now, several companies have kindly offered to take me on board, which I feel grateful for.

The unfortunate part is, my nights have been rough.My mind just refuses to be put to rest as I weigh up the options while lying in bed. Instead, it goes on to jot down mental notes, and make calculations and adjustments by jumping from one algorithm to another, to figure out the best offer in a precise numerical order. My train of thought can be compared to that of a ping-pong ball that is continuously bouncing back and forth on two different sides of a table in a restless manner, as I struggle to break the code of my first successful employment.

That said, this experience has taught me to savour the times where we are left with no choice but to do or carry out something. At the very least, that particular course of action can be done without being held back by feelings of apprehension or potential regret.

Beggars cannot be choosers. In that case, I choose to be a beggar. Only this time.

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