Lately, this question has been popping up in my head: do I want more or better?
I am going to be 32 in March, and it’s amazing how much the dreaded THREE-OHS have changed me. The changes aren’t bad at all– I feel more responsible and I have better plans for my future, unlike my “free and flirty” twenties.
I carry that feeling of responsibility into more of my decisions now and I have to ask myself often, “Do I want more, or what’s better?” If you over-complicate things like I do, or have trouble making decisions that others seem to glide through, then this strategy can help. It’s all about finding the better option in the moment.
The question “more or better?” mainly applies to quantity vs. quality decisions and what is truly best for you in that moment. It can be about spending money, eating, which relationships to nurture, and even how to use free time. We all know that more isn’t necessarily better, and being able to identify the difference can make a huge impact on your goals, not to mention stress levels and self-confidence, too.
When I take this approach to basic decision making, I tend to use my time better and spend less money. I make decisions faster and I’m more satisfied with my choices later on. I eat healthier and am able to say no to draining relationships. Simply taking an extra minute to evaluate the cost vs. value of each option is what it means to ask yourself, “Do I want more (of …) , or (what’s ) better?”
Imagine yourself at an ice cream parlor. The menu offers a wide price range, selection of flavors, and options for toppings. Let’s say you have recently decided to either lose weight, eat healthier, or spend less money. When you approach the counter, you have to decide: how much you are going to spend, how much ice cream you are going to eat, what flavor or kind of ice cream, if you want a bowl or a cone, and whether or not to add toppings. (Yes! It’s a science!)
Have you ever asked for extra time to order because you couldn’t make up your mind? By evaluating each option based on what is excess verses what is the better decision for you in that moment, you can easily disregard the “more” options, and chose the “better” options, assuming that “more” is unnecessary and “better” is a more accurate estimate of your need.
The more vs. better concept can also be used when considering:
What you spend your time on. Is watching more television better than accomplishing responsibilities now? Sure, it’s relaxing, but does it yield something tangible for my time? How about scrolling the Internet or other things that distract you from meeting daily goals?
What you spend your money on. Using myself as an example, I always want more yoga pants, but do I really need to fill a whole drawer? …or should I use that money on something else I need, like new kicks? If you currently don’t need anything from the store, do you meander around until you find something to buy anyway?
The types of food you choose. When you go grocery shopping, do you buy food and drinks with more flavors, or better health benefits? Do you buy cheaper items so that you can buy more, or do you buy quality products that may cost more but have better ingredients? When you are at a party, do you choose unhealthy options because they are there, or healthy options if they are there?
The relationships you invest most in. This has been a difficult lesson for me to learn. I always look for the best in people, even when they are clearly not the best person for me. After a few devastating experiences and some counseling, I’ve learned how to identify real friends verses the acquaintances and users in my life. There are certain people that drain me, and don’t contribute to a friendship. I made the choice in the last year to invest myself emotionally and physically only in friendships that are fruitful and reciprocated. Friendships should be give and take, not take and take, or give and give. I would rather have few friends if they are true friends. Facebook is a perfect example of extra for the sake of extra. I had over 500 friends at one point, and there were probably about 20 people in that list that I would have preferred to actually spend time with. It seemed more like a trophy collection of people that I had met or been familiar with in some way over the years.
I would tell myself that it was good for all of my “friends” to have access to my private life, opinions, pictures, locations, and interests, since it is an ideal way to keep in touch and/or network. I wasn’t being honest about the relevance or safety of all these people having access to my personal life. I deleted my account and started over, adding only my family and a few that I trusted or saw on a regular basis. I’ve got to be honest here, this was difficult! I would ignore or reject friend requests to keep my new boundaries , and this almost made me start the cycle of collecting friends all over again–out of fear of hurting other people’s feelings. There comes a time when you have to choose what is best for you regardless of others’ opinions. Now I choose to limit the access of people who are not in my life because it’s the better choice for me.
Do you recognize any “friends” in your life that drain you or tend to make a habit out of taking whatever you give them? Do you need to weed out acquaintances that you have “collected” in the past on social media or even in real life? Are the people you consider to be your friends truly reciprocating friendship and adding to your emotional and mental well-being?
I hope this helps you to make better decisions this week! Let me know if you are able to apply “more vs. better” to your life and if it works for you too! Have you found an idea that helps you filter the best solution? I’d love to hear it in the comments 🙂
Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
1 Peter 5:6-7- Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.