Zen and the Art of Decision-Making

Each decision has its cost, but none as high as indecision.

An AI-generated painting in traditional Japanese style, depicting a Buddhist student and monk.
A student consulting a monk. Image generated with AI by DALL-E.

A student came to see a Master, and said: “Master, I am faced with a dilemma. I need to decide which trade to learn, but I just can’t make up my mind.”

“I see,” said the Master. “What are the options?”

“Well, I could go East to study under Master Endo, who paints with magic ink. But in the West, there is Master Seki, who builds thinking machines.”

“Both options sound intriguing,” said the Master. “I see your predicament.”

“Which option should I choose, Master?”

“Go East,” said the Master.

“Master, are you sure? Forego learning about thinking machines?”

“Go West,” said the Master.

“But Master! Shouldn’t I learn about magic ink?”

“Stay here,” said the Master.

The student gave the Master a bewildered look. “Master, then I won’t learn anything!”

The Master smiled.

At that moment, the student was Enlightened.

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