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Decisions

  • For the decisions of our will are often so directly opposed to the decisions of our emotions, that, if we are in the habit of considering our emotions as the test, we shall be very apt to feel like hypocrites in declaring those things to be real which our will alone has decided.

  • Then and there I invented this rule for myself to be applied to every decision I might have to make in the future. I would sort out all the arguments and see which belonged to fear and which to creativeness, and other things being equal I would make the decision which had the larger number of creative reasons on its side. I think it must be a rule something like this that makes jonquils and crocuses come pushing through cold mud.

  • Any action whose reasons and explanations can all be contained in a few smooth practical sentences, and which arouses a unanimous chorus of approval from all the family and relations, may well be suspected of not being a living, deep-rooted action at all and scarcely worth pursuing.

  • Don't be obsessed with the idea that there is only one possibility. If you think so, there is only one.

  • Shit or get off the pot.

  • ... the middle class produces civilization because it is the only class constantly trained to come to a conclusion, poised as it is between the depth and height. It is not rich enough to have everything, nor poor enough to have nothing — and has to choose: to choose between a succulent table and a fine library, between travel and a flat in town, between a car and a new baby, or a fur coat and a ball dress ... its life therefore is one long training of the judgment and the will. This by itself need not manufacture greatness; but it is the soil in which it is possible to make it grow. And for this reason, when the rich become too rich and the poor too poor, and fewer and fewer people live under the constant discipline of their decisions, the age of greatness withers. To produce the lifelong stimulus of choice both in thought and action should be the aim of all education ...

  • The distance she traveled in that hour is the longest in human experience. It may take a decade, or a generation, or a century; yet sometimes it seems as if it is made in a single brave leap. It is the distance between being enslaved and becoming free. The trip cannot be given; it must be taken.

  • There is no such thing as a free ticket; every decision has both opportunity and cost.

  • A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one.

  • All decisions are based on insufficient evidence.

  • If something feels right, I do it. If it feels wrong, I don't. It's really very, very simple, but you've got to be willing to take your chances doing stuff that may look crazy to other people — or not doing something that looks right to others but just feels wrong to you.

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Nellie Bly, Oprah: Up Close and Down Home ()
  • ... the touchstone of a free act — from the decision to get out of bed in the morning or take a walk in the afternoon to the highest resolutions by which we bind ourselves for the future — is always that we know that we could also have left undone what we actually did.

  • ... you can't set down and stand up at the same time, each situation has its advantages, but you can't be in both places at once ... it can't be did.

  • If I eat lobster, and if I don't eat lobster, I shall regret it.

  • Indecision is fatal. It is better to make a wrong decision than build up a habit of indecision. If you are wallowing in indecision, you certainly can't act — and action is the basis of success.

  • There are no signposts in the sea.

  • Once the 'what' is decided, the 'how' always follows. We must not make the 'how' an excuse for not facing and accepting the 'what.'

  • Imagine how terrifying it would be if we had to decide the beginnings of things for ourselves: as to what race we should belong, what sex, and all that, instead of placidly coming out of unconsciousness to find it all arranged!

  • ... we don't decide anything. We just slide along thinking of something else. If people would only give, just once in their lives, the same amount of serious reflection to what they want to get out of life that they give to the question of what they want to get out of a two-weeks' vacation ...

  • By the time a person has achieved years adequate for choosing a direction, the die is cast and the moment has long since passed which determined the future.

  • When a decision has been made and the die is cast, then murder the alternatives.

  • God send us power to make decision / With muscular, clean, fierce precision. / In life and song ...

  • ... my choices were partly conditioned by the two great laws — of biology and sociology — for I do not conceive of myself outside of them. ... Inside every biological and social situation I am free to make decisions.

  • A society which is clamoring for choice, which is filled with many articulate groups, each urging its own brand of salvation, its own variety of economic philosophy, will give each new generation no peace until all have chosen or gone under, unable to bear the conditions of choice. ... we must turn all of our educational efforts to training our children for the choices which will confront them.

  • Once again she decided not to decide. She preferred being compelled into her decisions.

  • The simplest kind of decision is binary: that is, the question can be answered, in principle at least, by either yes or no.

  • Only those who must bear the consequences of a decision have the right to make it.

  • If every decision would reflect our feelings as well as our reason, the world would be a better place to live.

  • If your head tells you one thing and your heart tells you another, before you do anything, you should first decide whether you have a better head or a better heart.

  • Sometimes the right thing feels all wrong until it is over and done with.

  • When the desire ain't on me I don't need help. When it is on me I don't want any. See? Like the old fellah that never mended his roof. Said on a wet day he couldn't do it and on a dry day it was as good as anybody's.

  • ... the percentage of mistakes in quick decisions is no greater than in long-drawn-out vacillations, and the effect of decisiveness itself 'makes things go' and creates confidence.

  • The mind gives us thousands of ways to say no, but there's only one way to say yes, and that's from the heart.

  • What is living about? It is the decisions you must make between two rights, hard and costly decisions because always you can do one right thing, but sometimes not two.

  • I'm going to have to ride the fence awhile until I find where the gates are.

  • Always remember, indecision is decision — usually against you.

  • There is no such thing as a future decision. There are only present decisions that affect the future.

  • The ability to make a decision is another characteristic of a winner in money matters. I have found over and over again that those who succeed in making large sums of money reach decisions very promptly and change them, if at all, very slowly. I have also found that people who fail to make money reach decisions very slowly, if at all, and change them frequently and quickly.

  • Decision-making is a basic part of education for life in a democracy. It calls for practice.

  • The most important thing that I can share with you is the personal knowledge that decisions are not irrevocable, that choices do come back, sometimes in different forms and in different ways, but they can be remade.

    • Joan Bennett Kennedy,
    • commencement address, in Marcia Chellis, The Joan Kennedy Story: Living With the Kennedys ()
  • If we wait until we are 100 percent sure that we are making the Right rather than the Wrong decision, we can be 100 percent sure of only one thing — we will never make any decision at all. To be decisive and proactive, we often need to act long before we're convinced we're doing the right thing. Effective managers are labeled effective, not necessarily because of the number of correct decisions they make, but because they can make decisions, period.

    • Arleen LaBella,
    • in Arleen LaBella and Dolores Leach, Personal Power: The Guide to Power for Today's Working Woman ()
  • Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight. Indecision is a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind.

  • ... decisions can be like car accidents, sudden and full of consequence.

  • In every decision there must be some regrets.

  • Some situations have no simple resolution; all we can do is steer the course that causes the least harm.

  • A decision worthy of the name is based on observation, factual information, intellectual and ethical judgment. Opinion — that darling of the press, the politician, and the poll — may be based on no information at all.

  • It’s the small decisions, the ones that slip themselves into your day unnoticed, the ones that wrap their weight in insignificance. These are the decisions that bury you.