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16 Quotes to Help With Making Decisions

Life consists of a million different decisions, both big and small. From simple choices like what to wear in the morning or eat for dinner, to bigger dilemmas such as what career paths we embark on or where we ultimately want to settle down and build a life, decisions determine the details and the framework for our experiences. Having options can be both a blessing and a curse, however — endless possibilities might sound like a great idea, but the paralysis of indecision can prevent us from being fully present in the moment, or moving forward in any direction.

An important thing to remember, then, is that the only “wrong” decision we can really make is the one that we don’t feel fully in control of. Regardless of how daunting it is to make the call (red or blue socks? Colorado or Minnesota?), so long as we’re able to have agency in the decision-making process, and approach it with thoughtful care, no choice is ever truly a mistake. What’s more, some of the best verdicts are actually made in concert with other people, which is a good reminder that we don’t have to be alone in the choice. Here, we’ve rounded up 16 quotes that will hopefully lend you some wisdom to help guide your thinking, no matter what quandary you’re facing.

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

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Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.
Malcolm Gladwell, author

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May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
Nelson Mandela

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A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.
Plato

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It is often said that a wrong decision taken at the right time is better than a right decision taken at the wrong time.
Pearl Zhu, executive and author

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Whenever you’re making an important decision, first ask if it gets you closer to your goals or farther away. If the answer is closer, pull the trigger. If it’s farther away, make a different choice.
Jillian Michaels, celebrity personal trainer

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Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight; indecision, a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind it.
Gordon Graham, author

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Don’t mourn over your bad decisions. Just start overcoming them with good ones.
Joyce Meyer, author

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A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved.
Dorothea Brande, author

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When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.
Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney executive

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

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Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.
Tony Robbins

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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.
often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt

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You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
Maya Angelou

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I chose and my world was shaken / So what? / The choice may have been mistaken / The choosing was not.
Stephen Sondheim

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Nothing happens until you decide. Make a decision and watch your life move forward.
Oprah Winfrey

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Photo credit: EleniVasiliou/ Shutterstock

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About the Author
Joyce Chen
Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder based in Seattle, Washington.
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Fill in the blank: "___ consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” - Pope John Paul II

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