What I Look Forward To

A World with Too Many Options

I believe in today’s day and age we have too many options. Yes, it’s sometimes good to have options, but we’ve gotten to the point where there is an abundance of them, which only end up causing us more headaches than pleasure.
When we have so many options, we are required to make a lot of decisions, both consciously and subconsciously hundreds of times a day. We end up making decisions from both our internal preferences and external influences. Although we might not like to admit it, these external forces, impact our everyday choices. Whether it’s picking out a shirt because that’s today’s trend or going to certain bars because it’s the new hotspot in town and that’s where everyone is going.

Every day we are bombarded by countless options to choose from and decisions to make.
Today, I have realized that there is nothing more I despise than going to a restaurant only to be handed a menu with a plethora of options to choose from. It’s completely unnecessary to have so many options and adding more will not make us any happier, on the contrary, it will just fill us with doubt, leaving us to wonder if we would have been happier choosing the chocolate mousse instead of the creme brûlée (yes you would have been, chocolate trumps all)

Going Back to Our Primitive Bases

Although there are a lot of reasons as to why I’m excited to hike the PCT, the one that stands out the most for me, is the fact that I can, in a way, go back to the basics, to our most primitive being. Where there aren’t a lot of choices to be made. where there is one absolute goal. The same goal every day; get up, walk, eat, and continue walking until the day I finally reach my goal.

I’m excited to wake up every day, pack up camp the same way, choosing to eat only what I have in my backpack, and walking as long as I want. There aren’t many more options to choose from. The outside influence and never-ending choices we are given in the world today are quickly reduced to eating, walking, sleeping, and shitting. And I think that is the first step towards gratefulness and happiness.

Once the thoughts of having to make so many decisions are removed we can begin to focus on what really matters to us. We can start to see things from a different perspective and appreciate the things that we currently have. The problem with having so many options is that we will never be satisfied with whatever we choose. Like in a restaurant with a menu the size of a harry potter book, we pick the tastiest looking option only to look over and see the Mona Lisa of meals two tables over. Tinder is the same story, the never-ending swipes make us think there is always going to be a better option for us out there when in reality, it could be right in front of us and we just fail to acknowledge it.
In simplicity lies the greatest pleasure.
With the pace at which society continues to grow and we continue to be influenced by social media. Our fear of not having enough possessions, the latest devices, or the fanciest car, will only continue to grow and negatively impact us. We will always continue to pursue something more.

The Pursuit of Jappiness

I’ve been giving this phrase a lot of thought lately and have come to believe that it’s a bit of an oxymoron. Happiness is not something to be pursued. To pursue it would entail that you’re constantly chasing it and paradoxically making it less attainable. You’re working towards being happy but never quite getting there… Instead, like many great authors have said, if we become more aware of the current state we are in, instead of chasing something we believe could make us happy, maybe we would finally be at peace with what we have. We would be more grateful for the present as well as more compassionate towards people around us.

In Conclusion

To wrap this up and not get too philosophical, I look forward to simpler days. To days where I can declutter my head of all of society’s opinions and norms and be able to wholeheartedly reflect on the task at hand. Acknowledging it and being fully present in the moment, without having to worry about what I am going to do tomorrow.

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Comments 1

  • Avatar
    Perrine : Mar 26th

    Hi Marcelo,

    I enjoy your perspective and thoughts. I can so relate.

    – Minimalism is not the lack of something but the exact amount of something.

    – Décision fatigue and fear of missing out are real.
    It used to take me hours to pack a suitcase for business trips. As a slow traveler with a 35 liter backpack. 5 minutes and I know what to wear or pack for a little excursion. This is the most freeing feeling ever!
    In the wild, only 2-3 decisions to make each day: what do I eat, do I need water, where do I sleep…

    – the pursuit of happiness: we live in a culture of doing. Of making it happen when in fact, way more important than the goal is the journey. We always adjust to what we get/reach/achieve but do we enjoy the ride to make it worth? Being present for every step instead of obsessing about the end goal is the goal…

    Happy trails to you.
    Can’t wait to read more as your adventure unfolds!
    Perrine

    Reply

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