To be alive in this age means to have a lot of privileges that many before us did not have, but it also means another thing, and that is the incredible amount of choice one is faced with everyday.
The incredible anxiety that comes with trying to make a decision and how easily overwhelmed you can feel trying to pull your life together in a certain direction.
Having too many choices can make us lose confidence in our decisions because of the what ifs, because life is expanding before our eyes and new choices are always emerging by the day. Samran Pareek beautifully put it: “Life is like a multiple choice question, sometimes the choices confuse you, not the question itself.” That could be true to a great extent.
We now have access to social media, which constantly shows us this influx of written material and visuals. It shows us thousands of different lifestyles, jobs, what a cool life should look like. It can really leave you feeling confused and doubtful of your own.
It is truly beautiful that we can see what is out there in the world and know the choices we might not have otherwise known were possible and learn new ways of doing things, but while it might give you wings, it can also be your worst enemy.
You’re always going to see versions of what other people think and choose for themselves and what they think you should do as each one displays different choices for you, and while that can be empowering and show various perspectives, you’ve got to stand firmly by yourself. You have to gently try and see what you truly want for yourself.
Ask yourself in silence and with no other distractions, What do I really want? What do I want to make of myself and my life? Watch what comes up, even if it is clouded by a million thoughts, because you have to start somewhere. Who would you want to be and what would you do with your time if social media and people’s opinions weren’t there to influence that?
There is a beautiful part of the movie Before Sunrise where Celine, the heroine, says that when her aunt took her to a forest as a teenager and away from any news, information, words that people told her on a daily basis, she felt immense boredom and couldn’t stand being isolated there. But as the days passed, she started feeling peaceful and serene, and she no longer felt she needed to be this or that; she no longer felt she needed to be in a certain place or that she was missing out.
And I think that’s something we should all do from time to time, to think for ourselves, to feel our own feelings. Sometimes you need to get away from the world in order to filter out what’s yours and what isn’t. A lot of our belief system isn’t constructed by us but rather by consuming repeated similar messages over a long time until it becomes imprinted in your belief system.
So while you enjoy experiencing the choices of the world, I invite you to think about what you truly want in this array of choices knowing that you can never be and do all of them at once. I hope you find peace with knowing that. I hope your choices truly make you happy. I hope you advance in life.