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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #18 --- Decisions

Updated on November 28, 2015

Quotations on Decisions

Nothing can be done without decisions. If you don't want to make a decision you make a decision not to make a decision.

—Casper W. Merrill, West Central States Mission Bulletin, Billings, Mont., March 1960.

The man who can't make his mind up is not likely to make much else.

‑‑‑B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., Sept. 18, 1920.

Indecision often comes from indifference.

‑‑‑B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., Aug. 15, 1927.

Indecision is a robber with a dagger under its cloak.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Bolivar Breeze, Bolivar, N.Y., March 23, 1894.

Indecision is quicksand. Determination to do right is rock.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Duluth Evening Herald, Duluth, Minn., May 8, 1897.

There is not much to the person who is unable to make up his own mind or keep it made up.

—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., July 5, 1947.

The poorest way to make up your mind is to lock it up.

‑‑‑Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Sept. 12, 1909.

You cannot be bound by the chains of indecision and mount the ladder of success at the same time.

‑‑‑Edith C. Fraser, Specialty Salesman Magazine, Atlanta, Ga., October 1926.

Indecision is a mark of the weak. The backward or retrograding people have “tomorrow” for their watchword. They fear to force conditions to an issue.

---William T. Ellis, Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, N.Y., Oct. 16, 1909.

Indecision is the answer of many. They are halting between two opinions. The difficulty is not in making up the mind, it is in making up the will. The real problem is not in making up; it is in giving up. We are all tempted to cloak our moral weakness in the garb of intellectual perplexity. Too, one must remember that not to decide is to decide against.

---J.F. Stewart, The Daily Times, Beaver, Pa., March 29, 1938.

The causes of indecision include the want of thoughtful consideration; and the deficiency of personal courage. The consequences of indecision are increase of difficulties, loss of opportunity, and irreparable ruin.

---J. Layton Mauze, St. Louis Republic, St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 29, 1902.

Anxiety grows rapidly in the garden of indecision.

—Purser Hewitt, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Aug. 18, 1972.

Making up the mind is the small half; the big half is doing it.

‑‑‑Bert Moses, Pocatello Tribune, Pocatello, Idaho, March 15, 1923.

The price on a keen mind is a keen decision.

---Jack Williams, Sr., Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Jan. 13, 1940.

It costs some persons as much pain to decide as it costs the sloth to move.

---Louis C. Hinman, The Citizen, Berea, Ky., March 30, 1905.

The secret of will power is decision.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Jan. 13, 1931.

People who take forever to make up their minds seldom derive satisfaction from their decisions.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Oct. 17, 1933.

The making of decisions is never so hard as the making up of one’s mind to make them.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 30, 1958.

Make up your mind or it will be your unmaking.

---John Wesley Holland, Livingston Republican, Geneseo, N.Y., April 17, 1930.

A decision made too late is almost as bad as a wrong decision.

---John Merrill Chilcote, St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., Feb. 5, 1955.

Many times a fellow gets credit for having an open mind when the truth is that he isn’t capable of making a decision.

---John Merrill Chilcote, St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., Jan. 27, 1967.

Each day we are called upon to make decisions, some of them important to others, some only to ourselves. How we make those decisions tests our moral fiber. Whether we fall short of the mark or have the integrity to do what we know is the right thing, is our yardstick for personal appraisal. For some strange reason it is easier to be honest before a crowd than with ourselves. That comes not so much because of fear of detection but because we see the stamp of public approval. When temptation presents itself the immediate question that comes to mind is, “Will anybody ever know?” but we are fooling nobody but ourselves.

---Paul E. Gustafson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Jan. 28, 1961.

Few of us know much about hard thinking. There is but a small amount of it in the world. Most of us, ruled by our emotions and our desires, study a matter just long enough to get a vague idea of whether it looks good or bad, and come quickly or slowly to a superficial conclusion. Most people who brag about quick decisions usually make the wrong ones—and are sorry afterwards, unless they are too stupid even to know they have made a mistake.

---Grove H. Patterson, Painesville Telegraph, Painesville, Ohio, July 12, 1929.

A great deal of unhappiness comes from our failure to balance values. We are suddenly attracted by a proposition, act on it, regret it. Men have many times been ruined by the habit of snap judgment. Many even boast that they act on snap judgment, on hunches, on impulse. The thoughtful do not boast of that. The habit of weighing the good against the bad, thoughtfully, is perhaps the most important habit the human being can acquire. Thinking things through, weighing, balancing, will lead us to discover that the most happiness may lie in doing something exactly opposite from the thing we expected to do.

‑‑‑Grove H. Patterson, MiIwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Dec. 5, 1930.

Decision makes for contentment. To be undecided is to be discontented. Necessity, sometimes exerting a stronger hand than conviction, compels us to make a decision. Many men have found to their astonishment that they had underrated their ability to produce something worthwhile. When stern necessity compelled decision to act it touched hidden springs which drove them onward and forward to new goals of achievement.

‑‑‑Henry W. Mull, Specialty Salesman Magazine, Atlanta, Ga., May 1932.

Don't be afraid of the future! Learn to live on the "leading edge" of today, on that frontier where the present cuts its way into the future. Develop an intentional lifestyle that is pro‑active rather than reactive. Don't get so preoccupied with the daily "housekeeping" decisions of life that the really momentous "once‑in‑a‑lifetime" decisions are made by default.

‑‑‑William E. Hull, The Times, Shreveport, La., March 28, 1987.

People who absolutely believe in hunches are usually the ones who are too lazy to bother about decisions.

‑‑‑Roberta Lyndon, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., June 9, 1940.

Success comes more rapidly to those persons who can lead and supervise others.

Despite popular misconception, leaders are made--not born. But they are self-made.

You--anyone--can be a leader. But only you can make yourself into one.

The outstanding quality of leadership is willingness to make decisions.

The person who won't or can't make decisions--after he has sufficient facts on which to base them--can never supervise others.

You can train yourself to make decisions quickly and with a minimum of fretful worrying. It's a matter of habit. You can develop the good habit of deciding now, immediately, on a course of action or you can develop the bad habit of procrastination.

Learn, first of all, to distinguish between big and little decisions--those which have highly important risks or consequences, and those where the outcome makes little difference.

Make little decisions as rapidly as possible. Give yourself more time on the big ones, to make sure you have all the facts in hand and have related them carefully from the standpoint of logic. But set yourself a definite time limit--and when it expires, make your decision instantly.

And remember, once you've made a decision, never look back at it to wonder--or regret--what might have happened had you taken another course. Such contemplation is useless. It merely takes you mind off the new decisions that will inevitably be facing you.

By demonstrating a willingness--and eagerness, even--to make decisions, you will show others that you are willing to accept responsibility. Recognition of that fact will bring you the respect of others, particularly superiors. This world is so populated by buck-passers that they'll be pleasurably surprised to discover someone eager to help shoulder responsibility by making decisions. Hence, you'll immediately by singling yourself out from the masses that shrink them.

By consciously trying to shorten the time it takes you to make a decision, you'll help yourself develop stronger initiative, better judgment, a more flexible attitude and open-mindedness.

In short, adopt an aggressive attitude toward decisions. Seek them out and make them! In doing so you'll find that often you've prevented little problems from becoming big ones.

If there's a decision to be made, don't let it lie there and hope it'll go away.

It never will.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, June 25, 1956.

Wise decisions are the stepping stones of progress. They are the building blocks of life. Decisions are the ingredients of success. For individuals and institutions they mark the way of progress. The mind of an individual or the collective mind of the council, committee or board of directors decide what the present state of the council, committee or board of directors decide what the present state and the future direction of the individual or institution will be.

It is generally recognized that there are five fundamental steps in decision making.

1. Defining the problem, its scope and significance.

a. What kind of problem is it?

b. What is its critical factor?

c. When do we have to solve it?

d. Why solve it?

e. What will it take to solve it?

f. What is the value or gain in solving it?

2. Collecting facts, analyzing, and using them.

3. Developing and weighing possible situations to arrive at conclusions.

4. Carrying a decision into action with plans and controls.

5. Follow‑up on the results of the decisions and action.

Decisions should be based on correct principles and facts.

A thorough knowledge of the facts surrounding any particular problem usually leads to an easy and correct decision.

‑‑‑F. Nephi Grigg, Scotland Stibble Rig, Edinburgh, Scotland, Aug. 12, 1970.

The power of decision is the result of a well-organized mind. Men of action are always men of decision. The decision to fight on has turned many a probable defeat into a victory. It is the decision to keep on, when all strength and confidence seem at an end, that a “second wind” comes to the rescue; all because of that decision. In the breaking of a habit, decision comes in as one of the most important factors. The first step is to decide to conquer it. Then comes the decision to look neither to the right nor to the left—to go ahead with the plan, disregarding criticism and jeers from the doubtful. With each fresh triumph along the way, each earlier decision is strengthened. The doubtful, hesitating mind always travels in the rear!

---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Feb. 22, 1939.

Nothing is so destructive to the structure of the mind—that organ known as the brain—as the habit of vacillation—never knowing exactly just what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, In other words, wavering and perhaps never getting down to action. It is far better to make a decision, even though you may be wrong, than to form the habit of always vacillating in mind. We never quite know whether we are right or wrong until we have put our decision to the test. Time is movement, and unless we move with it, we are apt to be buried in its debris. Vacillation and worry are twins of a similar character. The one supplements the other. The more one vacillates the more one worries. Doing away with both gives vision in the mind and a clear road ahead, with courage to meet all obstacles.

---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Feb. 17, 1945.

Decision is a most important element in character. Without it success is impossible. Decision is an exercise of the will‑‑the only function of the will. The will is the executive of the mind‑‑the man; and the will is more valuable than the intelligence. A vacillating man, whatever his intelligence, is pushed aside by the man who is more determined. He who resolves to succeed in spite of circumstances really succeeds. The shores of fortune are covered with the stranded wrecks of men of brilliant ability, but who have lacked courage, faith and decision, and have, therefore, perished in sight of more resolute, but less capable adventurers who succeeded in making port. When a crisis comes, seizing it promptly should lead to triumph, to neglect it may bring ruin. Decision gives the power to stand firm, when to yield, however slightly, may be the first step in the downhill course to ruin.

‑‑‑William M. Anderson, Sr., Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, June 5, 1921.

One of the commonest forms which worry takes is that of indecision. It has its root in various bad mental habits; in fear, which always makes you anxious over possible mistakes; in self‑consciousness, which makes you imagine slights, injuries, even persecution. Indecision is a fog, close and blank, shutting off our vision of actual things. If you stand still in it, wondering which way lies the right path, you will never get anywhere. The only way to escape is to start! Make some decision. Do something It will take you out of the fog. You may find then that you have chosen the wrong path; but at least you have got out where you can see that it is the wrong one. Then you can take the right one. The very act of decision is helpful mental exercise. One definite decision, one clear constructive thought, is worth all your hours of anxious, barren planning. Do something! Do it after a reasonable amount of consideration‑‑but do it. One of the great factors in these cases of unsuccessful mental adjustment is that the victims almost always refuse to face facts. If you can change those things you don't like, do it. But if they cannot be changed, don't persist in vain attempts to alter the unalterable. Worse still, don't sit and sulk and worry because they can't be changed.

‑‑‑Allison Gray, American Magazine, Springfield, Ohio, October 1918.

A mature person looks around him at all the facts and forces of a situation. He sizes them up accurately, without waiting to see what his favorite columnist will say in tomorrow's newspaper. And he makes his own decisions‑‑on the basis of the best and most unbiased information he can get. This is not to say that a mature person is so stubborn and opinionated that he cannot take advice. We don't admire the fellow who's "as independent as a hog on ice." The wise man listens to the opinions of authorities whose knowledge and integrity he respects. He is not afraid to change his mind when results prove him mistaken. A mind, like a parachute, is no good unless it's open. But all the time he keeps his feelings under control and exercises his independent judgment. He doesn't run with the crowd that shouts the loudest. He doesn't fawn on popular idols. He is his own master‑‑not the slave of the mob. A mature person is not dependent on those around him, even though he has the deepest affection for them. He does the things he ought to do for himself, without leaning on some stronger personality, whether it's a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, an employer, or a husband or wife.

‑‑‑Senior Scholastic, New York, N.Y., April 14, 1947.

Cultivate decisive thinking. The ability to form one's own mind on the basis of reasonable motives, must be striven for, and the one way to develop the power of deciding is by making decisions.

—Benjamin Kaplan, DeRidder Enterprise, DeRidder, La., Feb. 25, 1949.

If you take care of your small decisions, your large ones will take care of themselves. In other words, when you make the little decisions, the large ones are already made.

—Delon W. Barfuss, Westate, Denver, Colo., October 1964.

Indecision is a fatal weakness of character. Some people seldom decide even the simple affairs, but let them drift until they decide themselves. When they think they have decided it is only half a decision. They still hold the matter under consideration as though they had formed no conclusion. After deciding once they have to decide whether their decision shall stand or be revoked. They cannot decide what to decide about the things which they have decided.

—J.M. Buckley, Christian Advocate, New York, N.Y., Nov. 7, 1889.

There are four classes of persons in the realm of decision. First, those who are unable to arrive at a decision. The second class is constituted of those who reach a bad decision. The third class will be those who make good decisions, but are unable to go through with them. The wrecks of good intentions strew the pathway of life. Of course, there are those who make the great decision and stick to it. Indecision may spell danger, in that it involves lost time, misunderstandings, growing indifference, and, many times, lost souls. Wise decision leads to glory and honor in any realm.

—E.L. Thompson, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., April 2, 1925.

We speak of the decided person as possessing will power. He has not only decided but determined his course. No person finds the wind always favorable to his course, and no one ever achieves a worthwhile objective who does not do so by doggedly persisting in the face of opposition. The time of reaching a decision should be after the bearings have been well taken and the true course determined. Decision should be reached after counting the cost, not before.

—E.F. Robertson, Zion's Ensign, Lamoni, Iowa, April 28, 1932.

Decisions are ever prophetic of destiny. They determine life.

---Samuel Herschel Christian Burgin, San Antonio Daily Express, San Antonio, Texas, May 3, 1909.

What is a decision? Decisions are a form of competition. We face many decisions. As a result, we are continually competing against ourselves. There is a constant turmoil going on in our minds--good and evil, right and wrong, what to do and what not to do. These are all forms of competition with ourselves. What is a decision? A decision is the choice we must make–the choice of doing something now when we're supposed to do it–or wait until we feel like doing it. This is what competing with ourselves is–doing those things which will help us form character traits which we will always use.

—Joseph Kettenring, Pioneer, Hokkaido, Japan, March 1972.

Decision is the self-starter of success.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 4, 1923.

Basically, worry has its roots in indecision. We worry about money matters because we're uncertain as to just where we stand. We worry about uncompleted tasks because we can't decide on which one to tackle first. We worry about suspected illness because we can't bring ourselves to see a doctor.

—Lydia G. Giberson, American Magazine, Springfield, Ohio, August 1946.

Vacillation and indecision are the handmaidens of worry and fear, and the archenemies of joy and happiness.

—William S. Sadler, American Magazine, Springfield, Ohio, March 1926.

The man who would forge to the front in this competitive age must be a man of prompt and determined DECISION. Prompt DECISION and sublime audacity have carried many a successful man over perilous crises, where deliberation would have been ruin. It is not going too far to say that decision of character is essential to true happiness in this life. If you have true decision of character, you will not fear to claim your own, and maintain your conviction in the face of the most bitter antagonist.

—George P. Clark, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 5, 1940.

Indecision is the handmaiden of failure.

—Bill Copeland, Sarasota Journal, Sarasota, Fla., April 19, 1967.

To dodge difficulties is to lose the power of decision.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., March 22, 1908.

An ounce of decision is worth a ton of deliberation.

—Duncan M. Smith, Raleigh Herald, Beckley, W.Va., March 28, 1907.

Nothing is so fatal to success as indecision.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 31, 1941.

We cannot delegate our decisions to others. We must decide for ourselves. If we do not, we are doomed to mental conflict, to worry and doubt, and, at last, to hopelessness. It cannot be that we are doomed to defeat, because defeat, like victory, can follow only attempt, and attempt follows decision.

—George H. Davis, American Magazine, Springfield, Ohio, September 1937.

Good decisions build character. Life is invested with the awesome power of choice. All we get by sitting on the fence is blisters or callouses. Decision positionizes us and affords us a chance to change things. Good decisions enable us to identify truth in our own life.

—John Sullivan, Shreveport Journal, Shreveport, La., Nov. 2, 1985.

Indecision paralyzes the will.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 3, 1924.

Decisions and complete commitment are hard to make. Often they require unusual foresight, unusual fortitude, and unusual courage to follow through. Right decisions are not always popular. People do not always want to go in the way they should go.

—A.V. Washburn, The Sunday School Builder, Nashville, Tenn., July 1946.

Decision is the soul of dispatch.

Taylor County News, Abilene, Texas, April 26, 1895.

The reason that we fall into indecision so easily is that decision involves thinking. And the hardest thing in the world to do is to think. There is nothing people hate more than thinking. We hate it so much that we hate the kind of people who think. To understand this we must agree on a definition of what thinking is. Thinking is not the aimless functioning of the mind. What most people call thinking is merely reverie, just wandering along from one mental picture to another as a stream of water flows deviously along the ground; but the very essence of thinking is decision. Any thinking that amounts to anything and is worthy of the name consists in weighing possibilities. Nobody can tell what is best nor exactly what is right. All we can do is to weigh the evidence on one side and the other, and see which is the heavier. Most of us hate to decide things, because we are not certain.

—Frank Crane, American Magazine, Springfield, Ohio, January 1923.

Decision is the drumbeat of the march of life.

—D. Michael Stewart, The Vision, Zurich, Switzerland, December 1961.

Cultivation of the power to decide for oneself is a guarantee against all slavery.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Dec. 23, 1932.

Make your decisions in the light of long-range goals instead of short-term desires. Make your decisions on the basis of moral principle instead of personal popularity. Make your decisions at the level of your responsibilities instead of your dreams.

—Charles M. Crowe, On Living With Yourself, New York, N.Y., date of publication not given.


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