Rand once told me that people are happier when they’re given fewer choices. He’d read an article on it. Something about how we still like to have options, but when we’re faced with too many of them, we get overwhelmed. Our instinctual reaction is try to limit our options to only a few, and failing that, to curl into a ball and suck our thumb until someone makes a decision for us.
By the way, that latter technique? TOTALLY works.
He mentioned this phenomenon to me one afternoon while I was standing in the middle of an IKEA on the verge of one of my patented and adorable nervous breakdowns. If you are unfamiliar with the Swedish furniture mecca that is IKEA, let me tell you now: it could drive the most resolute soul into a mad rage, could reduce the happiest of mortals into sniveling mess. In 1998, Gandhi punched a dude who was trying to snag the last OMSORG shoe tree in stock. True story.