I admit it; I’m a little obsessive when it comes to finding the best option and/or price on the Internet when I need something. It’s just so easy to find things on Google!
Consider that everything I write has to do with reducing stress. Big stress, little stress, major stress, minor stress… it’s all fair game for me, and I have found that it can be quite stressful making decisions when you are trying to find the best price or product or technique or person or… I don’t know about you, but I spend way too much time and energy.
For example, I recently wanted an iced tea maker and there are a lot of choices. You can read the reviews and look and look and look, but it takes a heckava lot of time.
This sort of activity is counterproductive because the amount I end up saving or the product I end up with is never worth the time it took to find it. Never. (That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try at least two or three places if it’s easy to do so; let’s not get crazy here!)
It was during my obsessive search that I realized something very profound: I’ll never know if I got the very best tea maker. Never. Why? Because it isn’t possible to look EVERYwhere. I have to settle for “probably” the best or, more realistically, something that’s “very good.”
The issue, then, is not to get the “best” but to get something that meets my needs. The fact is that no matter how much time I spend,
- I still won’t know if I got “the very best” or if something better or less expensive is waiting for me as the next thing I find.
- The difference between what I chose after a moderate amount of time and what I end up with after obsessing about it will never be worth the effort it took.
Another example: you have certain criteria for a home and you can search until you’re blue in the face but you’ll never know if you got the very best match to your needs. What you have to realize is that you will find a “very good” fit, but not necessarily “the best” fit because you simply cannot check every home on the market.
Naturally, this concept does not apply when you are faced with a choice between a finite number of items, such as the best soup to get at the market. You are limited to the choices in front of you, so you can reasonably expect to find the best one among them according to your criteria. (My father used to joke that his mother had trouble choosing between two cans of Campbell’s Tomato Soup! This is off the charts because there is obviously no difference between them except perhaps a dent in the can or a tear in the label.)
But when you are faced with seeming endless choices, that’s when you have to be careful. If your needs are met and you have put it a reasonable amount of research, you’re done. Don’t obsess and don’t stress; make a choice and move on.
This post is one of a series on simple ways to reduce stress. Laughter is the most important way but is also hardest to do when you’re stressed. Learn how with a free audio interview with a leading humor expert. Free? Yes, free – it is my gift to you because laughter will soothe your soul. Listen or download it now at www.TheCopingC.com/laugh