The “Cereal Syndrome”

One of my favorite cereals is the classic Honey Bunches of Oats with almonds, but you’ll still find me standing in front of a barricade of cereals at some supermarket, trying to figure out if I want to try something new. And you know what? After much thought, I still end up buying the same old cereal or two.

Recently, I scanned through a cook book and found plenty of good dishes to try out. Nearly every page had an exotic recipe with a great photo. And guess what? I still end up favoring those few tried dishes that always seem to hit the right spot. It isn’t to say that I don’t try new dishes, but maybe it’s about practicing restraint instead of indulging in the luxury of choices.

With so many choices in the market, I find that time is often wasted on choosing because whether one likes it or not, nearly every product or service has competition. So if left uncontrolled, being choosy becomes a habit of one’s daily life. Even when one returns home after shopping, the “Cereal Syndrome” remains. It may translate to one’s personal life where one isn’t satisfied with one’s life partner and may move on from one to another. It may also enter one’s work life where one changes jobs so often that saving money becomes an issue. Even in spirituality, from dancing yoga to tibetan monasteries, the choices are plenty.  A person who tries various spiritual paths may end up looking like a hippie and experience dissatisfaction. If the habit remains uncontrolled, bad choices are easily made and can be quite harmful.

With a little restraint in a world of choices, one could probably solve half of one’s worries and problems, and that’s pretty good. So the next time I reach out for a different cereal, I might give it a second thought just for the sake of self-discipline.

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  1. what an exellent insight and a good name for the phenomenon 🙂

    It is same with me, I have very less variety in food and no variety in spiritual practice… A bit more with clothing though 🙂

    1. Thanks Axinia.
      I too have a variety in cook books, and actually I love trying new recipes but half the time they aren’t as good as some old timers.

  2. Hi there,

    I do it too…stand in front of the hoards of choices in the cereal aisle and then opt for the same ones that work for me. If I try a shiny new one, it usually goes stale before it is finished.

    I think cereal syndrome may also be what so many people experience with diets… what works is burning more calories than you eat, and eating sensibly helps you eat less calories than you burn. But most people bounce from one thing to the next looking for the latest “quick fix” (and there are lots out there).

    Just like there a lots of antidepressants to choose from and you can bounce from one to the next, when what works best may be the old tried-and-true, meditation, counseling and self-discipline.

    “Cereal Syndrome” is a great term–wonderful thoughts that seem applicable to much of our lives.


  3. very modern article! i thought abt these kind of things very often and especially where i live it is supercommon and supereasy to change everything people need or want: from the basics like food, cloths, jobs, entertainments to the specials like house, travels, luxurious objects; here evrything is possible but the colest thing is to change as less as possible for the ones who wants to get into a steady and well nourished personality. it s a wonderful secret not known to evrbody!

  4. I found your website on google. It helped me do my research on this topic. I have read most of them and got a lot from them. Don’t stop writing articles, because I would become lost!

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