I have talked before about final choices and sensible defaults as a way I bring balance to my life by reducing the number of choices I have to make. I have recently identified one other method I increasingly use to simplify in this manner – delegating choices to someone or something else.

For example, when listening to music at home, I rarely seek out a specific album or artist. Most often, I use iTunes Genius Playlists or iTunes DJ to do the selecting for me. Even more recently, since it’s release, I’ve been using the excellent KCRW Music Mine and just hitting play. In both of these cases, I’m happy to place my trust in these tools and let it run. I don’t need to think about what kind of mood I’m in and searching through thousands of choices. I simply hit play.

Another way I have been doing this, and this is an idea I learned from a good friend, is when ordering at restaurants. Instead of looking through the menu and trying to decide my meal, I delegate the choice to the server. I simply ask, “What is good today?” or “Bring me your favorite.” and they, more often than not, are happy to oblige. Now, one must have a pretty broad palate (I do) and one must be OK with the idea that what is delivered may be the most expensive item on the menu (this has been rare for me) but, in general, I’m delighted with the results of such experiments.

In both of these cases, one takes a risk that is based on the trust that the person or service will make choices that are agreeable to you. It helps that in both I have broad and curious tastes and therefore it is hard for me to be disappointed. That said, I think there is under-appreciated delight in randomness, serendipity, and surprise. I wish to fill my life with more of it and this is one way to do so.