The Paradox of Choice: How will you live your life?
This I Believe
Back when I was a kid in high school, I was on the wrestling team, track team, cross country team, and the bowling team; a lot of teams right? Though today the term athlete probably would have been one of the last things anyone would ever associate me with, in high school, it nearly ran my life.
There is something that every high school team involves — the uniform. It’s basic in nature, but you are then able to accessorize, of course depending on the school or team, with shoes, socks, head bands, and anything else you could think of that would set you apart from everyone else, but essentially, make you look good.
One of my father’s favorite quotes was that “when you look good, you play good,” and he made sure of that buy buying me a variety of athletic gear for the sports teams I participated in. For those of you that do not know my father, he is an aesthetically, materialistic person. He’s the type of person that has clothing attire for every occasion in which he attends — from the shoes & sneakers that he wears on his feet, to the elegant bow ties that he ties around his neck. As a kid, I thought that this was amazing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have all of these choices and things to pick from?
I grew into the man that my father was, and still is. Someone who loves fashion. Someone who believes that enough, is not enough, and never and will be enough. What I did not take into consideration, was the effect in being this way.
We live in a world in which we must make decisions. We wake up and immediately we are faced with choices. I found myself waking up in the morning often times struggling to find the next outfit for the day. What was going to be the next button up shirt that I would wear? Which pair of shoes should I take out of the box next? What pattern socks should I wear to match the button up shirt that, by the way, I’m still having trouble trying to pick out. Does this brown belt match the brown on my shoes? These were the questions I asked myself every morning. These were some of the first choices of my day.
I use to believe that more choice meant more happiness. I use to believe that freedom was grown from the simple foundation of having more choice. I use to believe that by increase in the choices that we had, meant an increase in satisfaction… and I believed wrong
I was not happy with the choices I was making; it was like looking for an external source of happiness instead of looking internally. I did not get a sense of freedom from the choices I were offered; I felt like a lunatic in a strait jacket. And I displayed no sense of satisfaction from the essence of choice; I was dissatisfied with life, and I had it all wrong.
I began to blame myself for outcomes of the choices that I made in my life. I thought that I was in fault, because maybe if I would have chosen a different road or path to take, that I wouldn’t feel the way that I did. I then had to explain how I was feeling to people, which made it all worst. Choice essentially made me hate myself.
I believe in the paradox of choice, and I believe that we should overcome this paradox.
The paradox in which we are faced with an impossible decision. Where we see choice firstly as a pleasure such as having multiple options of clothing attire, but are then unable to choose because we don’t know the outcome that the choice will bring us, or we are just overwhelmed by the choices. We just don’t know if we will be satisfied or not. See, choices makes up life. It is probably the greatest gift that we have because we can always choose. Choices make up who you are, what you are, and your life as a whole. It doesn’t matter what the choice is. I believe that there is no right or wrong choice. Due to the fact that I believe that no life is necessarily better or worse than any other. I believe that our lives are just made up of different experiences. And I believe that we should value these experiences. Although I believe that there is no right or wrong choice, I believe that we can make the right choice for ourselves. I believe that we must look within us, because within lies our values and beliefs — the true foundation of leadership. We are who we are because of the choices we make in our life. I believe that choices make we make in the present, determine the foundation of the roads in our life and the choices we make along that path in the future. They make me who I am, and I lead through them.