Home About Services How I Work Contact Blog

An abundance of choice


On my first trip to the US, more than 20 years ago, I was in a coffee shop to order a cappuccino. There was a queue and finally it was my turn.

Suddenly 100’s of questions were fired at me with the expectation that I knew the answers. Who would have thought that a simple cappuccino could come in so many different variations! I stood there, stunned, my brain in overload. The only thing I could do was remove myself from this situation.

For the first time in my life, I felt ill equipped to order a cup of coffee. I lived in Vienna back then and drinking coffee was a daily pleasure.

I had already decided. Cappuccino it was. Not a long black. Even so, this choice seemed only to be the start for more decisions to be made. I had to decide on every ingredient that would go into it.

So I sat down on a table, took a deep breath and studied all the options on the display. Only after practicing my answers, did I get back in the queue to get coffee. With success! But the stress involved was huge.

Choice is a complex matter. We want to have choice. But are there moments when we are overwhelmed by it? What do you do, when you find yourself stuck because you can’t make a decision? What does it depend upon. Is it something we need to learn to cope with, to manage?

Sheena Iyengar, studies “The art of choosing” and gives a fascinating talk about the power and effect of choice.

Image: DeaPeaJay

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.

Back to top