I have a membershp ClassPass, an app that aggregates fitness classes from independent studios and gyms. My subscription gives me a fixed number of points per month, which I can spend on classes at any participating studio. When I want to take a fitness class, all I need to do is open ClassPass and choose a class. Simple.
Except it’s typically not so simple.
At any time of day, the available options can send you spinning. HIIT classes. Weight lifting. Barre. Pilates. Gyrotonic. Spin. Dance. Boxing. Rowing. Bootcamp. Yoga.
The category of yoga offers me a choice among hot yoga, vinyasa, power vinyasa, hatha, yin, and restorative, among others.
Too. Many. Options.
The Trap of Options
For a long time, I would open the app, scroll through the options, then close the app without selecting a class. I’d default to going to the gym because I couldn’t decide. I almost cancelled my membership.
This pattern played out in other apps. I lost count of how often I opened the Seamless app to order dinner only to decide to cook instead. Cooking took less energy and time than deciding what to order. The contents of my abandoned Amazon shopping cart follow me around the web in retargeted ads, reminding me of the products I perused and left for later.
This is the Paradox of Choice.
The Curse of Information
Platforms like ClassPass and Seamless add a lot of efficiencies to the process of booking fitness classes or ordering food delivery. They bring the same transparency and ease to their industries that sites like Orbitz and Kayak bring to booking flights, that Match and Tinder bring to dating, and that Amazon brings to shopping for almost every known product in the world.
And of course, there’s Google, through which we can find anything.
These platforms and others create information parity, put all options in front of us, and make research and comparison easy. This was the promise of the web: liberate information to create market efficiencies.
Armed with information, we would make better decisions with greater ease.
In practice, however, these platforms often steal more time and energy than they restore.
I’m not the only one who has fallen into the black hole of menu surfing on Seamless or class browsing on ClassPass.
The Illusion of Optionality
In over a decade of helping clients with their process of buying homes, I have lost count of the number of times I have heard a client express a desire for “optionality.” When I ask what they want in their home, they respond with what they’ll consider or accept. That’s not the same thing.
Their fear of missing out on opportunities drives their desire for “optionality.” The irony is that “optionality” is what causes us to miss out on opportunities.
While you’re in the black hole of exploring your options, you don’t see that what you truly desire has appeared. And you don’t notice when it slips away. Along with your energy. And your life.
There is a better way.
The Power of Clarity
The way to search more effectively and efficiently is to get clear on what you want FIRST.
Before I open ClassPass, I take a moment to feel into what type of class I want to take. Before I open Seamless, I consider what I want to eat.
Any search platform works better when you approach it with a clear vision of what you want.
Clarity acts as a filter for irrelevant information. When you get clear on what you want, you won’t waste time and energy trying to obtain and sort through irrelevant information.
Clarity filters out irrelevant options and magnifies relevant opportunities.
This applies to any decision. Your home. Your job. Your relationship. The clothes you buy. Conferences you attend. Courses you invest in. The clients you want to attract.
Get clear on your ideal, define the parameters, then search for it.
You won’t be missing out on opportunity; you will be filtering out the noise.
I help my clients get clarity on what they truly desire, what’s in their way, and the strategies to move through. Through my Get CLEAR method, my clients make better decisions avoid expensive mistakes, freeing up time, energy, and money that they use to live more fulfilling lives. Want to learn more? Apply here for a complimentary Get CLEAR call.