For those of you who haven’t yet tired of my
endless quoting of my favorite authors, here
we go again!
I truly believe that making a reasonably fast decision, as long as not under emotional duress, is the best way to act in most cases.
Napoleon Hill has devoted a large portion of his
works to discussing this subject. The story of
how he came to be appointed by Andrew Carnegie to
write the world’s first complete philosophy of
success revolves around Mr. Carnegie’s difficulty
in finding a person who can make a quick and
definite decision once he has all the facts at hand.
Dr. Hill didn’t know it at the time, but when Mr.
Carnegie put the question to him, i.e. if he would
be willing to devote the next twenty years of his
life, without pay, to researching and writing the
philosophy, Mr. Carnegie was holding a stopwatch
under his desk. He had decided in advance that he
would not give this opportunity to anyone who took
longer than 60 seconds to definitely say either
“yes” or “no.” It took Napoleon Hill exactly 29
seconds to say, “Yes Mr. Carnegie, I will not only
accept your commission, sir, but you may depend
upon it that I will complete it!”
Mr. Carnegie replied with, “I not only like what
you said, but I like the way you said it!” He went
on to reveal the stopwatch to Dr. Hill, and told him
that he had already offered this opportunity of a
lifetime to dozens of other young people but they
had all failed to make a decision within the 60
seconds, and all had taken anywhere from a few hours
to several weeks to make up their minds. He went
on to explain that no person who is unable to make
quick and definite decisions can ever possibly hope
to achieve any degree of success.
Dr. Hill has explained the importance of the
ability to make quick and definite decisions in
numerous books. One of his quotes in particular
stands out in my mind:
“The man of DECISION cannot be stopped! The man
of INDECISION cannot be started! Take you own
He also said: “Make a decision. Make ANY decision.
ANY decision is better than NO decision. At least
if you make the wrong decision, you can always go
back and correct the mistake.”
“Studies have shown that the most successful people make decisions rapidly because they are clear on their values and what they really want for their lives. The same studies show that they are slow to change their decisions, if at all. On the other hand, people who fail usually make decisions slowly and change their minds quickly, always bouncing back and forth. Just decide!”
— Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within, p. 49