You go into an ice cream parlour. You sit in a booth. You look at a menu. You like cherry vanilla ice cream. You check the sizes available. You look at the prices. You order cherry vanilla, you eat cherry vanilla, you enjoy cherry vanilla, you leave a tip, pay your bill and leave.
I go into an ice cream parlour. I stand in line at the counter. I see the assorted flavours in their containers in the freezer case. I see the maple-walnut, the butter-pecan, the chocolate. I see the dishes, the sizes, the cones, and the variety of cones, the sprinkles, and the toppings. I decide I can handle two scoops. Butter-pecan and chocolate. I ask for hot-fudge. I ask for wet-walnuts. I pay the bill, leave a tip and enjoy the ice cream, the toppings, and the experience.
You enjoy the ice cream. I enjoy the experience and the ice cream.
The problem arises when there are too many choices. Though perhaps not with ice cream, but perhaps with sweaters.
You have an event to attend. You shop for a sweater. The choices are red, white, and blue.
You don’t want white, because it shows every little spot. Red, well, you have a skirt to go with a red sweater, but only one. Blue is nice. You have a blue sweater but it is light blue. This is dark blue. It goes with several skirts. You buy the blue sweater. You have closure. You are happy.
Your friend is attending the same event. Your friend goes to another store. There are many colours from which to choose.
Your friend thinks green. Will it go with her outfit? There is mint green. Too light? Kelly green. Too bright? Forest green. Too plain? What about blue? Royal blue, navy blue, sky blue, or aquamarine?
Your friend decides on the Kelly green. Your friend gets home and has doubts about her choice. Your friend reviews the options she’d had in the store. Your friend does not have closure. Your friend is not happy.
There are different aspects to life. How we approach each event is determined more by the event.
Rather than approach the activity at hand, or the choices among different activities available, focus on the different aspects of the experience and match them up to what you are looking to find in the experience.
If all you want is an ice cream, buy a package of Klondike Bars at the supermarket. If all you want to do is wear a sweater, pull one out of your closet. When you go beyond that, think about what you really want from the experience.
For those who might enjoy an extended metaphor on the topic
Copyright © 2011 Slim Fairview