Our team spends approximately 15 minutes at a minimum every day deciding where to order from for lunch. We do this knowing full well that our options are limited to roughly 4 places, all of which serve composite bowl foods. And yet we’re paralyzed. Every single day ends up in this loop that we can’t escape. “Where do you want to eat?”, “I don’t know, where do you want to eat?”, “How about we all just list 3 places we’d want to eat at?”, “Okay…” On and on and on. And every day without fail we end up with some iteration of food in bowls.
But the paralysis is real. We’re overloaded with choices at every turn that make seemingly insignificant decisions overwhelming. The Sweetgreen salad? Make it any way you want. Go to the grocery store? There are 25+ different yogurts to choose from and we haven’t even gotten to the non-dairy options. Looking for a life partner? The dating pool is unlimited, so we keep swiping just in case the next best thing is still out there. What do you want to be when you grow up? The sky's the limit, find your passion, you can be whoever you want to be anywhere you want.
It’s honestly crippling at times. Choices and optionality were supposed to liberate us, but instead they’ve made us indecisive and flaky. We cancel plans at the last minute, ghost our dates, compare sneakers across multiple websites and end up ordering none of them. It’s not because we’re careless and unreliable. More often than not, it’s because we’re overwhelmed and overstimulated. Inaction is far easier than action, so we default to complacency.
Which is why you step back and think about it, it’s so crazy to think that so many urban young people own dogs.
We’re paralyzed by every single small decision and we’re flaky, and yet, we’re willing to commit to a dog? We’re willing to upend our entire lives and commit to taking care of something for the next 10-15 years? We’re raising our dogs in small apartments in cities that weren’t designed to hold them and build structured routines around them, and we don’t question it despite it being one of the most seemingly irrational decisions you can make. This isn’t to say that it’s a frivolous decision-making process, but it is interesting that it’s something we’ve near collectively agreed is worth committing to. It’s the one big, life-altering commitment we can get behind. Most of us can name the exact dog breed we’d want before we even get one because in a world that feels out of control, it’s one of the most precise forms of self-expression. It’s commitment that reminds us of who we are in a world that’s pulling us in a million different directions.
I wish every decision felt that obvious. Until then, I have to get back to spending 25 minutes online flip-flopping between quick service salad restaurants.