Sunday, October 17, 2010

Curious about the Alternative: Often Times We Are Faced with Alternatives. How Do Pick the Best One?

Definition of Alternative: Alternate; reciprocal. An offer of two things, one of which may be chosen, but not both; so that if one is taken, the other must be left. Thus when two things offer a choice of one only, the two things are called alternatives. The course of action or the thing offered in place of another. A choice between more than two things; one of several things offered to choose among.

A long apprenticeship is the most logical way to success. The only alternative is overnight stardom, but I can't give you a formula for that.” - Chet Atkins, American musician

So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.” - Milton Friedman, American economist

I chose the theme of “alternative” for this week’s blog because I feel that for everything we do and/or think, there is an alternative. I was also pleased with the above definition which included, “a choice between more than two things.” Yes, I know that often there are only two alternatives, but it is innovative and fun to work on finding more than two. That is one of the many reasons I love working on the computer – finding alternative work-arounds.

For fun, the American entertainer, Robert Orben said, “In prehistoric times, mankind often had only two choices in crisis situations: fight or flee. In modern times, humor offers us a third alternative; fight, flee - or laugh.”

There was a huge variety of quotations from the experts, so let’s examine and learn from them:

  • Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative.” - Maurice Chevalier, French actor
  • People are learning to feel more comfortable hearing one another's dreams. It used to be that if you told a dream in public, someone had to make a joke to relieve the tension introduced by that alternative reality.” - Henry Reed, English writer
  • With optimism, you look upon the sunny side of things. People say, 'Studs, you're an optimist.' I never said I was an optimist. I have hope because what's the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven.” – Studs Terkel, American journalist
  • A theory has only the alternative of being right or wrong. A model has a third possibility: it may be right, but irrelevant.” - Manfred Eigen, German scientist
  • Education must, be not only a transmission of culture but also a provider of alternative views of the world and a strengthener of the will to explore them.” - Jerome S. Bruner, American psychologist
  • Even as we work to develop more sources of petroleum for the United States, we must continue our vigorous pursuit of alternative fuels, so that we can be powered by cleaner, more efficient sources of energy.” - Virgil Goode, American politician
  • I never fit in. I am a true alternative. And I love being the outcast. That's my role in life, to be an outcast.” - Meat Loaf, American musician

And some more for those of you who love quotations, as I do:

  • In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.” – Winston Churchill, British statesman
  • For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” - Mary Kay Ash, American business woman
  • Moderation is a virtue only in those who are thought to have an alternative.” – Henry A. Kissinger, American statesman
  • We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon - no alternative.” - Golda Meir, Israeli leader
  • The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue.” – Emma Goldman, Lithuanian activist
  • Liberalism is, I think, resurgent. One reason is that more and more people are so painfully aware of the alternative.” - John Kenneth Galbraith, American economist
  • I want to warn anyone who sees the Peace Corps as an alternative to the draft that life may well be easier at Fort Dix or at a post in Germany than it will be with us.” - Sargent Shriver, American politician

When you are faced with making a decision and/or choosing a direction, how often do you stop and consider the alternatives? Taking the time to consider may help with setting you up for adventure and success. Try it, you’ll like it!