in some ways the world was like a shopping centre

tough-choices-shopping-decisions-life

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“For in some ways the world was like a shopping centre, and he himself was a doubtful customer, often ineffectual, being talked into buying things he didn’t want, things indeed which nobody in their right mind would want to buy.”

 

Margaret Mahy

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Ok.

 

I admit.

 

I laughed out loud when I saw this quote.

 

As with most people I have always thought of choices and decisions as forks in the road … go this way or go that way <although I have suggested in the past that Life is a game of chess with choice making>.choices-path-shopping-direction-decisions

 

But what if choices are like a shopping center?

 

What if the world exists as a shopping center of choices and decisions in which you can be bamboozled into some choices or maybe out of sheer exhaustion you just buy something or because this one store is more convenient you buy that choice … never seeing another choice in the store on the other side of the shopping center.

 

Well.

 

That sounds more like reality with regard to choices and decisions that some simplistic ‘fork in the road.’

 

 

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“Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming?”

Unknown

 

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“Explain the value and justify the cost.

People don’t mind paying; they just don’t like to overpay.”

 

Chris Murray

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Anyway.

 

Life decisions.

 

You know something?

We bitch & moan about making decisions and the angst over Life choices … but, in general, we don’t really mind making them.

 

We just don’t like to overpay for our decisions and choices.

 

And that is where choice shopping centers screw us up.

 

We wander into stores looking at crap we think would look great on us … and maybe we even buy it. but when we get home it not only doesn’t look as good … it looks like shit <or stupid>.

 

Uh oh.

 

It is non returnable.

 

You own it.

The choice … the one you made … is yours.

 

And maybe we made that choice because some ad suggested it or something in the store whispered in our ear or we even get some good sales pitch.

 

We are explained the cost of our choice <by Life in this metaphor> … we think we see the value … and then we decide to pay or not pay. That is the value shopping-red-cartequation.

 

But here is the biggest problem with regard to thinking about choices as a shopping center. You cannot leave the shopping center having bought nothing. Buying nothing is not really an option.

 

And I think most of us know that <even if we do, on occasion, simply decide to make … well … no decision>. Because we know that we tend to seek reasons to make one choice over another. And that makes me think about the fact there may be nothing worse than thinking you have a chance when you don’t have an ice cube’s chance in hell.

 

Thinking you have a chance is normal. In fact … it is so natural to think it you almost have to convince yourself that there really truly is no chance.

Standing in some store in the choice shopping center … and maybe you have visited five stores already and bought nothing … well … even that one choice that is maybe just not your color or not exactly your size or … well … you get it … you convince yourself you have some chance it will end up looking great on you.

 

This thought process gets reinforced by Society which is constantly seeking ways to convince you that that ‘no chance’ is simply a sign of pessimism or lack of ‘positive thinking’ <or … “it would fit you if you only worked harder” type shit advice>.

 

Well.

 

That is bullshit.

 

No chance is … well … no chance.

In fact … I would suggest a sliver of a chance is still no chance.

 

A shopping center of choices always offers you … well … choices. They may not be perfect and in fact you may find that all the stores with the good shit are closed that day and the only choices you can buy are in the dingy Dollar Store.

 

Regardless.

 

Life is more often than not about making choices on where to invest energy rather than a simplistic ‘right versus wrong’. Investing energy in ‘no chance’ situations are a drain.

 

Most good choices have nothing to do with ‘beating the odd.’ Most are about honestly assessing chance.

 

I am certainly not suggesting this is easy.

 

Having been to dozens of shopping centers where every store fights to sell you something shouting at the top of their lungs ‘you do have a chance’ I fully recognize it absolutely sucks to have no chance let alone admit to yourself “no chance”.

 

I take some solace in the fact that I know what sucks more. Thinking you actually have a chance when you do not.

 

And I fully recognize the suckiest decision of all … not even going to the shopping center.

 

Even if you hate shopping … showing up at the shopping center is what it is all about. It seems almost weird to even suggest this … but … simply showing up can have dramatic consequences.

 

Yup.

 

Even something as unspectacular as ‘showing up’ can be a choice which has dramatic consequences to your destiny.

 

We far too often think of fate when looking in a rear view mirror.

 

 

We far too often think about fate when looking at choices as “this way or that way.”

i-held-a-storm-in-my-hand-choices-decision-shopping-center-life

 

We far too often think about choices … and the choices WE made … which actually led us to the place where we saw what we saw in that rear view mirror rather than all the other choices that possibly impacted ‘fate.’

 

We far too often think about the sea in which choices are made as something controlled, and controllable, by us rather than some invisible hand.

 

And I imagine, we far too often rarely think about showing up as a key choice.

 

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“No matter what choice you make, it doesn’t define you. Not forever. People can make bad choices and change their minds and hearts and do good things later; just as people can make good choices and then turn around and walk a bad path. No choice we make lasts our whole life. If there’s ever a choice you’ve made that you no longer agree with, you can make another choice. “

 

Jonathan Maberry

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choice-fish-other-direction-shopping-decisions-toughAnyway.

 

I tend to believe most of us do not think of Life choices in a shopping center like way because it can seem pretty overwhelming. In addition, it possibly forces us to think about how easily we are bamboozled in a retail environment to buy shit we don’t need, or buy shit that isn’t really good for us or even buy shit that doesn’t fit us.

It is much simply to say “right or left” … “this way or that way.”

 

Sigh.

 

Unfortunately.

Life is just not that simple.

 

tough-choice-shopping-fish-decisions-lifeUnfortunately.

Choices are just not that simple.

 

More often than not we are … well … a doubtful customer, often ineffectual, being talked into buying things he didn’t want, things indeed which nobody in their right mind would want to buy.”

 

That sucks.

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Written by Bruce