The paradox of choice – the illusion of perfection

Ever since I could remember I’ve always liked only one flavour of Lay’s potato chips: the original. The classic yellow bag which contained at a minimum of 50% air was my go-to bag of chips. I didn’t care for all the new flavours the brand was producing.
The other day I went to the grocery store and realized they didn’t sell Lays in the UK. Blasphemy. I looked on the shelf and was completely overwhelmed by the choices.

I invested in a stock in 2020 where I ended up 20x my return in a year, only to then feel bad for not somehow magically catching on to the craze of Gamestop. I constantly have to remind myself that my investment was based on research and rational decision making, whereas Gamestop was an incredibly unique, and otherwise, completely random spike in value that made a few people very wealthy.

My 5th-grade teacher always told me “never let good enough be good enough.” I was actually very thankful for him as a teacher because he always pushed me to be a better student – I was lackadaisical, and I think both of us knew that I could put in more effort.

When I used to blog every day, I did it on the deep-rooted acceptance that many of my submissions would be poorly written posts.
I am afraid of submitting “send” on my dissertation. 20 pages, 8000 words, 3 months of work. I nevertheless have to submit it, even though it can always get better.

The illusion of perfection, the paradox of choice, paralysis of analysis—whatever you want to call it—the psychological condition where you incessantly ask yourself: is this good enough?
At times I’ve begun hitting the wall. Better is never enough. Enough is not enough. There is always something else. This is not healthy.

On social media, there is an adage where people like to say “There will always be an Asian kid better than you.” I grew up both fearing that person and expecting to be that person. I am at a balance of feeling young with potential but underaccomplished; that I have a lot of time yet I am behind. I look back at old videos, old memories, old blog posts and reminisce about a life that wasn’t so serious and stressful.

At these times I feel nostalgic that my life is going by so quickly. I can only accept that there is more happiness along the journey I am going on – and accepting that I made the right choice – and that Lays will continue selling their original classic flavour.


3 thoughts on “The paradox of choice – the illusion of perfection

    1. I did! And the stock was NIO when the price dropped to around $2-3 range which was extremely undervalued compared to now which I think is quite overvalued. My thesis revolved mainly on China government bailouts and I was right.

      Liked by 1 person

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