stop giving me choices

I'm back!

*crowd erupts in applause*

Sorry, I went away for a while. I'd like to say I was doing some soul searching or something but I'm not sure what I've been doing to be honest. Other stuff. Seeing friends. I completed Assassin's Creed II. It was alright. Turns out the Pope was the bad guy all along. Who knew?

The truth is guys, I couldn't decide what to blog about.

And recently, I've been really struggling to make decisions. In a very serious way. To some of you this will come as no surprise, I'm one of the most indecisive people out there. I'm like Henry VIII with his wives. Kind of. That's probably not a good analogy. Henry was probably the opposite of indecisive. Maybe I'm more like the British Weather. Right? You know, they say it can't make it's mind up? Oh whatever.

However, unlike some, I do not have an important decision to make. Rather I have many little irrelevant decisions to make. And those are the worst. Those decisions are hard because there's just so much choice, today more than ever. Coffee shops are a great example of this. I work in such an emporium (my employers might say 'work' is an exaggeration), which I love of course, but the range of options there are incredible, and customers are quite happy to exploit them. If you wanted you could get a small skinny decaf 3 shot wet sugar free hazelnut latte with some whipped cream and some sprinkles, to drink in but in a takeaway cup. Maybe pop some ice cubes in there as well. You could totally order that. I'd throw hot coffee in your face if you did, but still, it is an option.

When did we become so obsessed with options and choice? 

Wouldn't you ever like a little less choice?

There's the famous story about Henry T. Ford, creator of Ford automobiles, who when he made their first car: 'The Model T Ford', said that you could have it in any colour you liked--as long as it was black. Henry's cars came in black, or black.* Fuchsia Pink, Bitter Lime, or Cerulean Blue were not options here. Thank the Lord. But now it seems we have to make everything our own. Choose the thing that's just right for you. I recently purchased an ipod touch (which I love by the way), but for a while I hesitated to buy it in black because black is just a bit...standard. 

"Black", I thought to myself-"Is that really me?" Oh man. What would Henry say?

And like I said, i'm even indecisive about this blogpost. I'm not sure what I want to say. I have many options. But I do think my inability to choose comes from a hidden belief that my sandwich choices really are a massive deal. But they aren't are they?**

Is unlimited choice damaging us?

Does it make us more self-obsessed, driven by a need to personally hand-pick every element of our lives?

Does it damage our relationships with other people? We might never allow ourselves to be changed by others, even when they could influence you for the better. Eyes fixed on our own decisions, would we ever let anyone make a decision for us?

"Make the decision that's right for you", I feel I often hear. But that kind of pressure can paralyse you.

And a life lived in paralysis, unable to choose that really the life we were made for?

Maybe choice isn't bad, but thinking it's all on you...not so good. Some people don't seem to have the problem I do. They don't see the significance of Monday's lunchtime choice of sandwich quite like I do. And cause of that, they're free.

Choice can be nice. It doesn't have to be a bad thing. I mean, some people dream of spending their lives in John Lewis with those little carpet sample books. The ones with a billion choices of carpet. To me that sounds like hell. But to others it could be refreshing. So maybe I just need to chill out a bit. Trust myself to make a decent decision. Trust others to have some good ideas as well. And trust God. Be free to fail. It's not all on you.

And when you can do that, the bigger decisions aren't that much different are they? They're all just little steps really.

So, what coffee would I like?

...You choose.


*Some say the whole 'Fords were only black' thing is a bit of a myth. But what is this, QI?

**Unless you get Egg/Tuna Mayo sandwich. There is no going back for those people.


  1. Good choice to come back to blogging Joseph! I've thought a bit similarly recently. Regarding Henry viii, I think he just took to an extreme a dilemma that many men have. Do I really want to marry this woman? And if I do want to now, will I really want to continue years down the line? And, after all, how do you choose a complete unknown? Sadly for Henry, he had not only more choice than most, but more power. 6 wives along the line, I'm not sure he was any more satisfied.

    As for choosing what to write next, I totally feel your dilemma. Even in this comment I could go in various directions.

    Probably the best thing I've learned as an indecisive person is that mistakes become redeemed by God for good, so even if I do make a 'wrong' decision it's ok. That shouldn't be a cop out either to knowingly choose something bad. It just frees me up to act rather than the constant fear of messing up.

    However, it depends on me to respond accordingly to consequences. That awkward moment at a restaurant when you realise that someone else chose the better pudding option than you. I can choose to rejoice with them, rather than feel bitter. And maybe if I choose the best option (generally tiramisu) I can share it with them!

  2. I like it Jo! Decisions are hard, and black is always the best choice for an ipod- choose green and you might regret it for life :)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts