An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





A man must be able to cut a knot, for everything cannot be untied.


Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881, Swiss philosopher, poet, critic)


The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes a wrong one... the more active and swift the latter is, the further he will go astray.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


Alternatives, and particularly desirable alternatives, grow only on imaginary trees.


Saul Bellow (1915-, American novelist)


The refusal to choose is a form of choice; disbelief is a form of belief.


Frank Barron


Decisiveness is often the art of timely cruelty.


Henri Becquerel (1852-1908, French physicist)


When you come to a fork in the road, take it.


Yogi Berra (1925-, American baseball player)


The last, if not the greatest, of the human freedoms: to choose their own attitude in any given circumstance.


Bruno Bettelheim


In not making the decision, you've made one. Not doing something is the same as doing it.


Ivan Bloch


In the three years I played ball, we won six, lost seventeen and tied two. Some statistician... calculated that we won 75 percent of the games we didn't lose.


Roger M. Blough


Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


It is the characteristic excellence of the strong man that he can bring momentous issues to the fore and make a decision about them. The weak are always forced to decide between alternatives they have not chosen themselves.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945, German Lutheran pastor and theologian)


We are given one life, and the decision is our whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind, or whether to act, and in acting, to live.


Omar Nelson Bradley (1893-1981, American general)


Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you would be perfectly comfortable.


Bobby Bragan


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


Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973, American novelist)


Most of our executives make very sound decisions.  The trouble is many of them have turned out not to have been right.


Donald Bullock (American business trainer)


The tendency of modern science is to reduce proof to absurdity by continually reducing absurdity to proof.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


They are decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Form the habit of making decisions when your spirit is fresh... to let dark moods lead is like choosing cowards to command armies.


Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929, American sociologist)


Shelving hard decisions is the least ethical course.


Adrian Cadbury (American business executive)


Some people, however long their experience or strong their intellect, are temperamentally incapable of reaching firm decisions.


James Callaghan (1912-, British Prime Minister)


Every decision is liberating, even if it leads to disaster. Otherwise, why do so many people walk upright and with open eyes into their misfortune?


Elias Canetti (1905-1994, Austrian novelist, philosopher)


Indecision and delays are the parents of failure.


George Canning (1770-1827, British statesman)


Of all paths a man could strike into, there is, at any given moment, a best path which, here and now, it were of all things wisest for him to do. To find this path, and walk in it, is the one thing needful for him.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Deliberate with caution, but act with decision; and yield with graciousness or oppose with firmness.


Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832, British sportsman writer)


Human foresight often leaves its proudest possessor only a choice of evils.


Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832, British sportsman writer)


A true history of human events would show that a far larger proportion of our acts are the result of sudden impulse and accident than of that reason of which we so much boast.


Peter Cooper


In addition to self-awareness, imagination and conscience, it is the fourth human endowment -- independent will -- that really makes effective self-management possible. It is the ability to make decisions and choices and to act in accordance with them. It is the ability to act rather than to be acted upon, to proactively carry out the program we have developed through the other three endowments. Empowerment comes from learning how to use this great endowment in the decisions we make every day.


Stephen R. Covey (1932-, American speaker, trainer, author of "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People")


Not to decide is to decide.


Harvey Cox (1929-, American theologian)


Every decision you make is a mistake.


Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977, American author, critic)


Everything starts with yourself -- with you making up your mind about what you're going to do with your life. I tell kids that it's a cruel world, and that the world will bend them either left or right, and it's up to them to decide which way to bend.


Tony Dorsett (1954-, American football player)


Decision-making is the specific executive task.


Peter F. Drucker (1909-, American-Austrian management consultant)


Be slow to resolve, but quick in performance.


John Dryden (1631-1700, British poet, dramatist, critic)


Once -- many, many years ago -- I thought I made a wrong decision. Of course, it turned out that I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought that I was wrong.


John Foster Dulles (1888-1959, American republican secretary of state)


Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.


Wayne Dyer (1940-, American  psychotherapist, author, lecturer)

Author's website:


Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.


Wayne Dyer (1940-, American  psychotherapist, author, lecturer)

Author's website:


The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!


Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969, American President (34th))


Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Conditions are never just right. People who delay action until all factors are favorable do nothing.


William Feather (1888-19, American writer, businessman)


Business leaders often get credit for the successful decisions that were forced on them.


Oliver A. Fick (American environmental service manager)


After a battle is over people talk a lot about how decisions were methodically reached, but actually there's always a hell of a lot of groping around.


Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher


Life is just an endless chain of judgements.... The more imperfect our judgement, the less perfect our success.


B.C. Forbes


A man without decision can never be said to belong to himself.


John W. Foster (1770-1843, British clergyman, essayist)


The mania of thinking renders one unfit for every activity.


Anatole France (1844-1924, French writer)


Our power is in our ability to decide.


R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983, American inventor, designer, poet, philosopher)


The most important fact about Spaceship Earth: an instruction book didn't come with it.


R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983, American inventor, designer, poet, philosopher)


Life is just a series of trying to make up your mind.


Timothy Fuller


I hate to see things done by halves. If it be right, do it boldly; if it be wrong, leave it undone.


Bernard Gilpin


Make decisions from the heart and use your head to make it work out.


Sir Girad


When possible make the decisions now, even if action is in the future. A reviewed decision usually is better than one reached at the last moment.


William B. Given


The person who in shaky times also wavers only increases the evil, but the person of firm decision fashions the universe.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Decision is a sharp knife that cuts or to do anything, never to turn back or to stop until the thing intended was clean and straight; indecision, a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind it.


Gordon Graham


Men and women everywhere must exercise deliberate selection to live wisely.


Robert Grant


Reason, with most people, means their own opinions.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


Many persons of high intelligence have notoriously poor judgement.


Sydney J. Harris


I would sort out all the arguments and see which belonged to fear and which to creativeness. Other things being equal, I would make the decision which had the larger number of creative reasons on its side.


Katharine Butler Hathaway


No man who has not sat in the assemblies of men can know the light, odd and uncertain ways in which decisions are often arrived at.


Sir Arthur Helps (1813-1875, British historian, novelist, essayist)


My basic principle is that you don't make decisions because they are easy; you don't make them because they are cheap; you don't make them because they're popular; you make them because they're right.


Theodore M. Hesburgh (1917-, American clergyman, university president)


Indecision is the seedling of fear.


Napoleon Hill (1883-1970, American speaker, author, "Think And Grow Rich")


Every year, if not every day, we have to wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide what to do.


Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915, American author, publisher)


Some will freely expose themselves to danger at the beginning of an action, but diminish and become easily discouraged if it should last. Some are content to satisfy worldly honor, and beyond that will do little else. Some are not always equally masters of their timidity...


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


You can only predict things after they've happened.


Eugene Ionesco (1912-1994, Romanian-born French playwright)


There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.


William James (1842-1910, American psychologist, professor, author)


The lives of the best of us are spent in choosing between evils.


Junius (1769-1771, Anonymous British letter writer)


No country can act wisely simultaneously in every part of the globe at every moment of time.


Henry Kissinger (1923-, American Secretary of State)


In case of doubt, decide in favor of what is correct.


Karl Kraus (1874-1936, Austrian satirist)


Logic is the art of going wrong with confidence.


Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970, American writer, critic, naturalist)


A decision without the pressure of consequence is hardly a decision at all.


Eric Langmuir.


Decision and determination are the engineer and fireman of our train to opportunity and success.


Burt Lawlor


People "died" all the time.... Parts of them died when they made the wrong kinds of decisions -- decisions against life. Sometimes they died bit by bit until finally they were just living corpses walking around. If you were perceptive you could see it in their eyes; the fire had gone out... you always knew when you made a decision against life.... The door clicked and you were safe inside -- safe and dead.


Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001, American author)


I determined never to stop until I had come to the end and achieved my purpose.


David Livingstone (1813-1873, British missionary, explorer)


Once to every person and nation comes the moment to decide. In the conflict of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side.


James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American poet, critic, editor)


Wisdom consists in being able to distinguish among dangers and make a choice of the least harmful.


Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527, Italian author, statesman)


People become successful the minute they decide to.


Harvey MacKay (American businessman, speaker, author)


In making our decisions, we must use the brains that God has given us. But we must also use our hearts which He also gave us. A man who has not learned to say, "No" -- who is not resolved that he will take God's way, in spite of every dog that can bay or bark at him, in spite of every silvery choice that woos him aside -- will be a weak and a wretched man till he dies.


Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910, British preacher)


False conclusions which have been reasoned out are infinitely worse than blind impulse.


Horace Mann (1796-1859, American educator)


Decide promptly, but never give any reasons. Your decisions may be right, but your reasons are sure to be wrong.


Lord Mansfield (1867-1915, British artist, author)


Full maturity... is achieved by realizing that you have choices to make.


Angela Barron McBride


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.


Anne O'Hare McCormick


We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.


Thomas Merton (1915-1968, American religious writer, poet)


No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.


Agnes De Mille (1905-1993, American dancer, choreographer, writer)


I learn by going where I have to go.


Theodore Roethke (1908-1963, American poet)


You must know that in any moment a decision you make can change the course of your life forever: the very next person you stand behind in line or sit next to on an airplane, the very next phone call you make or receive, the very next movie you see or book you read or page you turn could be the one single thing that causes the floodgates to open, and all of the things that you've been waiting for to fall into place.


Anthony Robbins (1960-, American author, speaker, peak performance expert, coach)

Author's website:


The interesting thing is that there are so few important decisions. You don't have to go in the "right" direction. You don't have to enter the "right" business. What you have to do is have made a decision as to what you're going to do and then you just have to figure out how to succeed at it.


Ken Oshman


To know just what has do be done, then to do it, comprises the whole philosophy of practical life.


Sir William Osler (1849-1919, Canadian physician)


In each action we must look beyond the action at our past, present and future state, and at others whom it affects, and see the relation of all those things. And then we shall be very cautious.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


In forty hours I shall be in battle, with little information, and on the spur of the moment will have to make the most momentous decisions. But I believe that one's spirit enlarges with responsibility and that, with God's help, I shall make them, and make them right.


George S. Patton (1885-1945, American army general during World War II)


Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.


Laurence J. Peter


Common sense does not ask an impossible chessboard, but takes the one before it and plays the game.


Wendell Phillips (1811-1884, American reformer, orator)


Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader. Don't fall victim to what I call the Ready-Aim-Aim-Aim Syndrome. You must be willing to fire.


Boone T. Pickens (American businessman, chairman of Mesa Petroleum)


There is a time when we must firmly choose the course we will follow, or the relentless drift of events will make the decision for us.


Herbert Prochnow


Impelled by a state of mind which is destined not to last, we make our irrevocable decisions


Marcel Proust (1871-1922, French novelist)


A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


He who has a choice has trouble.


Dutch Proverb (Sayings of Dutch origin)


The difference is wide that sheets will not decide.


English Proverb (Sayings of British origin)


No answer is also an answer.


German Proverb (Sayings of German origin)


What good is it to run when you are on the wrong road?


German Proverb (Sayings of German origin)


He who follows his own advice must take the consequences.


Mexican Proverb (Sayings of Mexican origin)


The Pilgrims didn't have any experience when they landed here. Hell, if experience was that important, we'd never have anybody walking on the moon.


Doug Rader


A decision is the action an executive must take when he has information so incomplete that the answer does not suggest itself.


Arthur William Radford


I also remember the moment my life changed, the moment I finally said, "I've had it! I know I'm much more than I'm demonstrating mentally, emotionally, and physically in my life." I made a decision in that moment which was to alter my life forever. I decided to change virtually every aspect of my life. I decided I would never again settle for less than I can be.


Anthony Robbins (1960-, American author, speaker, peak performance expert, coach)

Author's website:


It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.


Anthony Robbins (1960-, American author, speaker, peak performance expert, coach)

Author's website:


Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.


Anthony Robbins (1960-, American author, speaker, peak performance expert, coach)

Author's website:


You've got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em know when to walk away, know when to run.


Kenny Rogers (1938-, American country singer, actor)


It doesn't matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.


Jim Rohn (American businessman, author, speaker, philosopher)

Author's website:


Somewhere along the line of development we discover what we really are, and then we make our real decision for which we are responsible. Make that decision primarily for yourself because you can never really live anyone else's life, not even your own child's.


Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962, American First Lady, columnist, lecturer, humanitarian)


In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.


Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919,  American President (26th))


Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970, British philosopher, mathematician, essayist)


Do not choose to be wrong for the sake of being different.


Lord Samuel


It is only in our decisions that we are important.


Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980, French writer, philosopher)


How dangerous can false reasoning prove!


Sophocles (495-406 BC, Greek tragic poet)


He who reflects too much will achieve little.


Johann Friedrich Von Schiller (1759-1805, German dramatist, poet, historian)


What must be, shall be; and that which is a necessity to him that struggles is little more than choice to him that is willing.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you'll find you've done it.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


The roads we take are more important than the goals we announce. Decisions determine destiny.


Frederick Speakman


A power greater than any human being helped make this decision.


Herbert J. Steifel


The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.


Ben Stein (1944-, American professor, writer)


We lose the fear of making decisions, great and small, as we realize that should our choice prove wrong we can, if we will, learn from the experience.


Author Unknown


Making a decision to have a child -- it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.


Elizabeth Stone


People don't want to know that as a woman, I made my own decision as a woman to leave, It has to be I was so burnt out or in love. [On her decision to quit E.R.]


Sherry Stringfield (1967-, American actress)


A wiser rule would be to make up your mind soberly what you want, peace or war, and then to get ready for what you want; for what we prepare for is what we shall get.


William Graham Sumner


The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.


Sun Tzu (c 400-430 BC, Chinese military strategist, author of "Art of War")


That should be considered long which can be decided but once.


Publilius Syrus (85 BC- 43BC, Roman writer)


Where there is no counsel, the people perish; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.


The Holy Bible (Sacred scriptures of Christians and Judaism)

Source: Proverbs 29:18; 11:14


Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all.


Brian Tracy (1944-, Canadian-born American trainer, speaker, author, businessman)

Author's website:


Once a decision was made, I did not worry about it afterward.


Harry S. Truman (1884-1972, American President (33rd))


Whenever I make a bum decision, I go out and make another one.


Harry S. Truman (1884-1972, American President (33rd))


Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Achievement comes when you decide to live your possibilities.


Author Unknown


If you've made up your mind you can do something, you're absolutely right. If you've made up your mind you can't do something, you're absolutely right.


Author Unknown


Necessity relieves us from the embarrassment of choice.


Marquis De Vauvenargues (1715-1747, French moralist)


Logic pervades the world; the limits of the world are also the limits of logic.


Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951, Austrian philosopher)


If you're already in a hole, it's no use to continue digging.


Roy W. Walters


There is one quality more important than know-how.... This is know-how by which we determine not only how to accomplish our purposes, but what our purposes are to be.


Norbert Weiner


Both choices are painful, but only one is therapeutic.


Albert M. Wells


Of two evils, choose the prettier.


Carolyn Wells (1870-1942, American author)


We have a choice: to plow new ground or let the weeds grow.


Jonathan Westover


When people ask for time, it's always for time to say no. Yes has one more letter in it, but it doesn't take half as long to say.


Edith Wharton (1862-1937, American author)


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