Too many choices — good or bad?

So I was thinking…

Too many choices can lead to disappointment.

I read an article a few years ago about a man who goes into a small convenience store to buy a bottle of wine. In the store, there are less than ten options to choose from. After quickly perusing his choices, he randomly selects a bottle of Cabernet. When he gets home and has a glass of the wine, it is not that good. However, it did fulfill his desire for a glass of wine so he finishes the glass and goes about his business. Since there was less than ten options he did not have a high expectation for finding “the best” bottle of wine.

In a different store, a man shops for a bottle of wine and has hundreds of choices. Although depending on what kind of wine he wants he can easily narrow his choices between red and white, sweet or full-bodied, Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, Merlot or Cabernet, etc. But once he has narrowed it down, to say Pinot Grigio, he is still left with close to a fifty different options. After reading labels and weighing his options the man makes his selection. When he gets home that evening and has a glass of wine, it is not that good. However, in this instance , he is perturbed at himself for making a poor choice. Certainly there must have been something better than what he got on the shelf at the store. This man is disappointed.

As I reflect on this story, my point is this: Sometimes too many choices is not always a good thing. Think about it the next time you are making a purchase and get a headache from having too many options to choose from. How much time did you spend researching your options? Were you ever left wondering if there was something “better” out there? As for me these days, I would prefer to have a few less options and save myself from unwanted disappointment.

About britta326

blogger, picture-taker, diaper-changer, runner

3 thoughts on “Too many choices — good or bad?

  1. Britta! This is exactly what I was talking about when I said I feel that when I go into the cereal aisle of the grocery store. But you wove that (with the same kind of thing a guy choosing a bottle of wine) into something deeper. I think we’re all faced with that today in our society. I can remember (as a little girl growing up in a very small town) there simply weren’t so many choices. Wonderful post and thank you for directing me to this. :).

    • You are so welcome. Thank you for reading/commenting. I, too, grew up in a very small town and had few choices growing up… not necessarily a bad thing given the amount of choices/information we have access to today. Definitely makes you think b/c it’s amazing/wonderful that we are have so many choices, yet sometimes overwhelming. We could go on about this for days!

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