Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.
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I've been thinking a lot recently about Barry Schwartz's work on choice. His book The Paradox of Choice recounts extensive empirical evidence which shows that while some choice is good for us and is empowering, more is not better. Indeed once our choices are over six then we can feel so overwhelmed that we often don't make any decision at all.
I've been recalling this fact for the simple reason that the big change in my life is that I now have a whippet puppy. He is coming with me on various outings and so I've got to go to dog friendly cafes and pubs. This has narrowed my choice considerably and yet I'm relishing it for the simple reason that these restrictions make life easier. For example, I went to Edinburgh on Saturday and only had one or two places in the area to choose for a cup of tea.
Holidays too are going to become easier - rather than having literally thousands and thousands of options to choose from, we're now restricted to a fairly small number of dog friendly hotels and B and Bs.
I'm sure many people would not welcome the curtailment of their choice as we're all so encouraged to believe that choice is inevitably a good thing. Personally I'm finding it an enormous relief.
What's more places that welcome dogs tend to be more my type of place.