Are endless options contributing to your restlessness?

While some sources put the number closer to nine or 10 hours a day, the average American spends nearly 50 hours a week in front of a screen for non-work purposes. Most of that is spent watching TV, playing video games and browsing social networks, wrote Mike Donghia at The Epoch Times.

Movies, TV shows, online videos, and social networks have opened our eyes to all of the ways people are living their lives, he noted, before asking, “Is this a good or bad thing?”

One thing fueling the craze is the fear of missing out. For some reason, people just need to know what’s going on in the world around them. They can’t control any situations outside their own lives, but they feel compelled to know who is doing what, when and how.

“At one end, we are afraid of wasting our life, which motivates us to do something different or make a change. At the right dose, being exposed to new possibilities can awaken a hunger and desire in us to change ourselves for the better,” Mike wrote.

“At the other end of the spectrum, we can become paralyzed with indecision, unable to take action because we are flailing in a sea of possibilities and options,” he added.

Mike refers to this as the “paradox of choice.” It occurs when the number of choices increases, so does the difficulty of selecting which one is best.

That’s why it takes 20 minutes to buy a pair of socks, analyze a menu or decide what to do with our lives — especially in later years. As a result, we make a decision to make no decision, which ultimately does nothing to advance toward your goals and a better life.

“Instead of increasing our freedom, too many choices ends up restricting our ability to make any choice,” Mike added. “The result is one that you might be familiar with — a restless, nagging sense that life is happening all around you, but that your own life is stuck in neutral.

To resolve this sense of restlessness, Mike suggests doing the following:

  • Consume less by stepping back from the very things we use to drown boredom, be it social media, news, porn, alcohol or even gathering together with friends who talk about nothing except what’s wrong with the world.
  • Close doors after evaluating your options, selecting one and fully embracing it. Shutting off other options not only reduces temptation to retreat by thinking you made the wrong decision, it helps develop tunnel-vision for a singular purpose. You’ll be surprised how the more you think about one thing, clarity grows stronger. You’ll notice things that reinforce the direction you’re headed. As that purpose grows, unimportant distractions will simply fade away.
  • Create more by either building something new or striving toward a purposeful goal. Begin a blog, write a book, plant a garden, start a business — whatever it is, create something that didn’t exist before you formed it. The act of creation sparks a regenerative purpose that brings life to your soul.

“Soon enough, you will enjoy some of the sweetest rewards of all — the joy of progress toward a meaningful goal and the sense that new horizons really do exist when you choose a path and begin walking,” Mike wrote.

The full story can be found at The Epoch Times.