The Bell Curve of Choice

I think that we can all agree that having no choice sucks. A lack of self determination is no good, no question. And yet, on the other hand, science shows that the more choices you have, the less satisfied you are with the outcome. Period.

I call it the Bell Curve of Choice: Bell Curve of ChoiceBut, what to do with this information?

Especially if you, like me, are "blessed" with incredible amounts of choice and freedom?

The answer is simple: Commit.

Until you commit, you can't move forward.

Here are four ideas to help you commit without paralyzing FOMO:

  1. Ask yourself: Is this choice a burden or a luxury? Luxuriate where choice feels good. When in doubt, simplify. Commit.
  2. Reduce your choices with habits, routine and structure. Habits are testament to the truth that removing decision making can be freeing. A couple ideas: simplify your wardrobe, eat the same thing for breakfast, work in the same place. Commit to practices that help you feel good.
  3. Identify your deal breakers and non-negotiables. Don't bend. Commit to yourself.
  4. Relish closing doors, even if it feels bittersweet. What can you decide NOT to pursue? Commit to your closed doors.
  5. Do a trial. Commit -- and commit fully -- for a set period of time. Let yourself off the hook for choosing for a while. Reevaluate at the end.

Don't let yourself drown at the far end of the bell curve. You have to commit to move forward.


This post was inspired by a brunch filled with delightfully delicious food & conversation with this lovely lady.