It is a miserable thing to live in suspense; it is the life of a spider.
—Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) Irish Satirist
Don’t stand shivering upon the bank; plunge in at once, and have it over.
—Thomas Chandler Haliburton (1796–1865) Canadian Author, Humorist, Businessperson, Judge
In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
—T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) American-born British Poet, Dramatist, Literary Critic
It is human nature to stand in the middle of a thing.
—Marianne Moore (1887–1972) American Poet
An ideal wife is any woman who has an ideal husband.
—Booth Tarkington (1869–1946) American Novelist, Dramatist
I used to be indecisive; now I’m not sure.
To be always intending to live a new life, but never to find time to set about it; this is as if a man should put off eating and drinking and sleeping from one day and night to another, till he is starved and destroyed.
The human heart is like a ship on a stormy sea driven about by winds blowing from all four corners of heaven.
—Martin Luther (1483–1546) German Protestant Theologian
It is a great evil, as well as a misfortune, to be unable to utter a prompt and decided “No.”
—Charles Simmons (1924–2017) American Editor, Novelist
Most men ebb and flow in wretchedness between the fear of death and the hardship of life; they are unwilling to live, and yet they do not know how to die.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
To do nothing is also a good remedy.
—Hippocrates (460–370 BCE) Ancient Greek Physician
There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation.
—William James (1842–1910) American Philosopher, Psychologist, Physician
There is nothing in the world more pitiable than an irresolute man, oscillating between two feelings, who would willingly unite the two, and who does not perceive that nothing can unite them.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
The wavering mind is but a base possession.
—Euripides (480–406 BCE) Ancient Greek Dramatist
Neither have they hearts to stay, nor wit enough to run away.
He who hesitates is sometimes saved.
Once I make up my mind, I’m full of indecision.
—Oscar Levant (1906–72) American Musician, Composer, Author, Comedian, Actor
The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.
—Moses Maimonides (1135–1204) Jewish Philosopher, Rabbinic Scholar
When a man has not a good reason for doing a thing, he has one good reason for letting it alone.
—Walter Scott (1771–1832) Scottish Novelist, Poet, Playwright, Lawyer
Nothing can be more destructive to vigor of action than protracted, anxious fluctuation, through resolutions adopted, rejected, resumed, and suspended, and nothing causes a greater expense of feeling. A man without decision can never be said to belong to himself; he is as a wave of the sea, or a feather in the air which every breeze blows about as it listeth.
—John Foster Dulles (1888–1959) American Republican Public Official, Lawyer
You need an infinite stretch of time ahead of you to start to think, infinite energy to make the smallest decision. The world is getting denser. The immense number of useless projects is bewildering. Too many things have to be put in to balance up an uncertain scale. You can’t disappear anymore. You die in a state of total indecision.
—Jean Baudrillard (1929–2007) French Sociologist, Philosopher