Which is more difficult for you, too many choices or too few?

Do you love having a multitude of options and revel in the process of narrowing them down to a single, perfect choice? Or are you happiest when provided with only two so you can flip a coin? You may say, “Well, that depends…” But you know what? Not really.

How do you handle abundance?

How do you handle scarcity?

Do you believe there is always more than enough or is there a slow leak in the bottom or your glass?

For me, the more options the better. My brain is hardwired to sift through layers of information and hone in on the nugget, the unexpected thing that’s exactly what I want even if my notion of it is foggy when I set out on the hunt.

So here I am today, looking for a particular item. I have to decide between two options because in the whole of Bali there are only two options, neither of which is what I’ve envisioned. What happens? I freeze up. I simply can’t decide.

The problem is two-fold.

A) I have a preconceived idea of what I want, and

B) I know what would be available to me in America.

So I leave that shop and go to the next. Same two options. And the next. Same. I get myself to a bigger town believing that just around the corner will be Home Depot, or Target, and they’ll have CHOICES!

Why am I so pig-headed stubborn? One reason is because I will exhaust all possibilities before I resign myself to settle for something I don’t really like. (This has not always been so!) Or, once convinced that my desire cannot be met, I’ll rearrange my entire plan so I don’t need what Bali doesn’t have. This approach works better for me.

Here’s the irony: there are exquisite products here that I could only dream about in the U.S.

But to find simple things like a clear shower curtain liner, crepe paper streamers, or hair dye that isn’t purple mahogany or fire engine red, is a different story. Not having access to what I want spurs creativity. I cruise the markets and shops mentally cataloging the proliferation of unusual,unique, and really strange items for sale. What will work instead of__________ (fill in the blank) is my new mantra.

If I were rushed for time or stress-crazed over a deadline, this would drive me nuts. But I’m retired! What a glorious state of being! And if I need a clear shower curtain liner I can go to the plastic shop and buy a hunk of the size and weight I want, take it to the tailor who will hem it and add grommets, go to the aluminum shop and have a pole cut to the right size, then call my handyman to come and figure out how to make it all work. And he will because the Balinese are the most creative, inventive, where-there’s-a-will-there’s-a-way people on the planet.

It’s a different way of life. Magical, frustrating, and every day something new.

Now back to my question: which one is more difficult for you, too many choices or too few?

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lottie Nevin
    Aug 01, 2014 @ 14:13:27

    Heavens above, you’ve caught me on the hop here, Miss Sherry. Choices, choices eh? I’m pretty good at making up my mind, but I find that it’s the living with the choice that I’ve made that’s sometimes the problem! Only through hindsight and experience can I say that it’s probably best for me if I don’t have too much choice – that way I can really focus and concentrate on what I need/want/desire without being side-tracked by the plethora of other options. Does that make sense? 😉

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Aug 01, 2014 @ 20:45:04

      Of course! It makes total sense. And you’re so right about living with the choices you make! I think that’s why I’ve become intent and insistent upon
      finding what I love. Otherwise, every time I look at a choice that I knew wasn’t quite right, I’ll feel a twinge of “Oh well,” and I prefer the feeling of “How delightful!”

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  2. Val Boyko
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 17:05:50

    Such a different culture and beliefs! It really highlights how we expect choices here in the US .. as well as service .. that meets our needs.
    When we move to a different culture it opens our eyes to a new way of thinking and seeing the world.
    I am a Brit who came to the US over 20 years ago. I was confused by the choices and thought how spoilt people were here! Now I enjoy the choices .. but I’m still a simple gal at heart. Its always easy for me to adapt and explore how the locals do things 😉

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    • sageblessings
      Aug 03, 2014 @ 23:11:17

      For me, the “hunt” is as much fun as finding the item that is right. Enjoy the hunt! I’m certain the exact right thing will present itself. too many choices in U.S……yes. Sometimes hard to even decide.

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Aug 04, 2014 @ 04:22:44

      Thanks for the comment, Val. I think we simple girls are the ones who can adapt, many choices or few, to whatever culture we find ourselves in and thrive. However, the service here puts anything I’ve ever experienced in the U.S. to shame.

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  3. healingpilgrim
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 03:13:37

    Nothing like reaching an epiphany while shopping for shower curtains 😉 I’d say that it depends.. on what I’m looking for, what mood I’m in, my budget, etc. Oh, and if I’m on ‘vacation’!

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Aug 04, 2014 @ 04:37:12

      Okay, would you rather have many choices (take shower curtains for instance) if you know what you’re looking for, and if you’re in the mood to buy a shower curtain would you prefer one option or many, and if you’re on a budget would you prefer several low, medium and high priced options or only one high and one low and the low one is poor quality….We’ll forget about on vacation because you wouldn’t be shopping for a shower curtain!

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  4. Karin Grouf
    Aug 25, 2014 @ 14:49:36

    because we have had it all and exposed to so many choices, less is more and we are divesting. I find lots of color disturbing unless I have the space to digest it. Amazon is my new favorite and I can have anything sent

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