Decision Making, President Abraham Lincoln, and Shakespeare

58 views 12:47 pm 0 Comments December 5, 2023

Decisions, or choices, are something that we humans must make every day.

Sometimes they are small choices (or in some cases big choices) that seem to have little effect on anything that we can immediately see the results of. Take smoking as an example: It is a (small) choice that millions of people decide to make each day.

However, we all know the longer range health effects, which I am not going to dwell on, because this is about making decisions or choices that will affect your relationships or your interactions with people in a broader scope.

President Abraham Lincoln said:

“It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time;

you can even fool some of the people all of the time;

but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

When it comes to Decision Making, my twist on this quote is:

“You can make all of the people happy some of the time;

You can even make some of the people happy all of the time;

But you cannot make all the people happy all of the time!”

Which leads to another quote…

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius advises his son:

“This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”

Meaning, if you take care of your own best interest first, then you are in a position to help others. However questionable Polonius’s way of doing this may be, it is still a useful quote regarding Decision Making.

As you take steps out of your comfort zone, to grow to a greater potential in life and business, this will take those around you out of their comfort zone as well.

Whether they are your friends, family, business partners, or colleagues, they will be affected by what you do. If nothing else, your actions are a reflection of what they are, or are not, doing in their own lives.

Your choices or decisions may make the people around you unhappy or confused or concerned. If they do not share your vision, their reaction may make you hesitate and doubt yourself.

It is wise to ask the opinion of trusted advisers. However, ultimately, you must make the decision yourself, and be clear that it really is what you believe is best. Even if you end up changing course and taking an advised path, you must know that the choice to do so was completely yours. Otherwise, you may become resentful if the outcomes fall short of your expectation.