By common consensus, we live in a complicated time. Too much information, too many options, go, go go. But does it have to be as complicated as we make it out to be? At one time, walking down the chips aisle in the grocery store involved complex and sometimes stressful decision-making for me. Flat or wavy–fried or baked–Barbecue? French Onion? Salt and Vinegar? Lay’s, Wise, Cape Cod? Small, medium or large? It’s a profitable enough business that all choices are available, even in corner stores. But that time is over for me.
Eventually, you just gotta pick a side. A long time back I picked big bags of Wavy Lay’s, which I am crunching on as I write. This is a decision I will never have to make again. I’ve done all the experimentation I need to do. Some of the others are OK, some are landfill–but I’m with Wavy. I can spot the package from the end of the aisle, slam dunk in the cart, done.
And I keep it simple at the local coffee bar. I don’t want latte, or cappuccino, I don’t want half anything, or skim anything, or foam, or flavor shots, or espresso shots, or sprinkles. I want coffee, what you get when you pour hot water through ground coffee beans. All my brain cells then sing The Caffeine Song in unison. Happy days.
Likewise, I don’t want onion rings on my burger, or blue cheese, or salsa, or garlic mayo. I don’t want it on a bagel or a croissant. I want beef on a bun–cheese OK, bacon OK, ketchup–yes please. Simple. And the next time I come–I’ll want the same. And while I enjoy green tea and black tea, I do not enjoy green tea with echinacea and ginseng spritzer. I don’t want aloe vera juice in my sody pop. I take it straight up.
Not that I’m a total stick in the mud. I’ll try most new things once. But then I pick a side. That’s why all my socks are black, and why I wear blue jeans and running shoes to everything short of a Kennedy Honors dinner. Keeping it simple preserves my decision-making bandwidth for the more important choices in life like–Miami Beach or Wellfleet? Ottawa or Quebec? DIY or hire a guy? Pitch or keep?
After a certain point, my decision-making does not improve with practice. So I’ve decided to keep it simple.