It's possible to be paralyzed by choice

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So I read the headline, and started getting into the body of the post, thinking “this is going to be about being so, so depressed that you want to take a medication that will induce paralysis.” Same ballpark as people who want to be voluntary amputees.

And I read through, kind of going quicker and quicker, glossing over the hoarding, and get to the end feeling like I still haven’t found the story.

Then I look at the headline again. OH!


Choice is nice, but it can also be a major drain on your time and mental energy and leave you exhausted.


It can be paralyzing and i do agree that having too many options can give one a sense that anything less than perfect is just no good. That said the way i combat that or try to make sure that’s what i really want is that i mull over what i want for a long time, weeks, months, and in a few cases even years before i pulled the trigger. Even then sometimes what i buy is less than stellar or not exactly what i wanted but waiting a long time before i buy does help put me in a mindframe that it’s not something that i need to have ASAP so if what i buy is a dud i can live with the decision, learn and if need be get rid of it.

However i am still a consumerist and i’ve been trying to slow down my purchasing and be more mindful on what i buy. I still do waste my money needlessly at times but i’m definitely much better than i was say… 5 years ago. I do need to de-clutter very badly though.


I have a “fuck it, good enough” clause in my decision tree. :smile:


I experience this as well. I’ve been a video gamer since the mid 70s, and have been collecting games since I got my first job. Being able to buy games digitally, and at deep discounts now and then (hello, Steam Sales and Humble Bundle), has just made it worse. I honestly have no idea how many games I own, and there’s a large chunk that I haven’t even played yet.

Now when I want to just unwind with a game, I find I spend more time trying to decide what to play than I do playing anything – or worse, I get sidetracked and try organizing them.

I enjoyed my hobby a lot more when I had a lot less. But I also can’t bring myself to get rid of them either.


For a long time now I’ve been reducing the choices I present to customers to avoid giving them this very problem.


Roll gaming dice?


Yeah. Some choice is better than no choice, but also better than too much choice.

(See also: why some limitations are good for creativity, and usually make creating easier than either total freedom or extreme limitations.)


I’ve wanted to get a bike for like 5 years now. Of course, there are a million choices, so I don’t know what the hell to do.

The worst possible option is to ask the question of an enthusiast forum (this is probably true of any discipline or hobby, not just biking), and of course they all have strong opinions that are correct and 100% contradictory! The only thing they agree on is to never, under any circumstances, buy a bike shaped object, whatever the fuck that might be.

Bikes at bike shops are expensive, and I really just want to ride around the hood with my daughters, not compete in le tour de France.

Bikes on Craigslist are much cheaper, but Craigslist is Craigslist, and there are a million of them so I still don’t know what the hell to do.

So, 5 years later, no bike. I’m well and truly paralyzed.


I often relate to this scene from Moscow on the Hudson


I to have a problem with choice. i have been stuck trying to pick sugar brands or salt brands for 10 min.
I just read an article that touched on it here.
I guess I always practiced mindfulness before I knew it as such.
now I guess i should work on being more in the moment & not think so much.


Yeah, I can’t justify the one I want. $1250!

For what it’s worth $300 bike in 1980’s would be at least $600 today just out of inflation. And popular BMX of the era like the GT Performer were around $300-$450. A cheap kid’s BMX-style bike is what, like $100 today? Will last a kid about half a summer too.


Dude, I’m sending you a Papasan hug.


I was thinking about some psycosomatic problem, like Clara in the Heidi cartoon, but ok this is a nother story

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The trick is to go in a supermarket and buy beer, ice cream, hamburger, bacon and cheese.
Or a bottle of red wine, some spaghetti, garlic, olive oil and chili peppers.


I currently have 30 open tabs for a laptop backpacks. I need a new one. Ideally, I’d get the exact same one I have now, but new. Unfortunately, I can’t find where RedHat sourced the bags they gave away for their Summit conference back in 2013.


Obama too:
“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” [Obama] said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”


Some options:
1 Look for a tag buried in some difficult-to-find corner of a pocket.
2 Take a nice clean pic and try Google’s image search.
3 Call RedHat’s press number and ask.