Choices, Friends and Networks

A long time ago, in the olden days, people in villages and towns didn’t have the vast array of choices which we do today.

When the wanted some clothes, they had to make do with what they could make or pay a friend to make.  When they wanted to find an apprenticeship for their son, they would ask a neighbour or a craftsman they knew.

Then things changed, towns grew bigger, newspapers and telephone books informed people.  When they wanted clothes, they could browse a number of shops.  When a business needed some workers they would advertise and sift through a number of applicants – offering jobs to your friends and neighbours was considered “jobs-for-the-boys” and not giving everyone a fair go.

Many people would refuse to make any kind of decision until all of the options had been researched thoroughly and all possibilities considered.

Towns and cities; communications methods and choices have all grown over the decades…. until, with the coming of the internet, any kind of decision – be it about a new coat, a home improvement, a new manager or a new pencil – can be researched and analysed until… well, until the cows come home.

Am I alone in finding that, with so many choices now available, I am considering far fewer of them before making a decision?  I know that it is not possible, within a reasonable time frame, to consider all options; and so, I find myself considering just a few, and when I find at least one of those few will do a good enough job, then the decision is made.

It is not necessary to consider all the options…. it is quite liberating to realise that just a few to choose from is enough.  My time and my brain have become more relaxed, with more focus on what is important and less time and brain-space devoted to what ultimately makes little difference.