iacta alea est (the die is cast)


“the die is cast”

(iacta alea est)

Julius Caesar


So. I was tempted to call this ‘now or never part 2.” I say that because after a now or never moment there is a, well, a post choice/decision.

That decision is the fact there is no turning back.

Well. Let’s just say the moment represents  that “we have made our choice and the die is cast.” <‘die’ as in dice>

Julius Caesar said this today, January 10th, some 50ish years before Jesus as he crossed the Rubicon, defying the Roman Senate, and starting civil war. Caesar was stating that he was making an irrevocable decision. And, as dice is a game of chance, he will have to play them as they are cast.

I imagine none of us are Caesar and the majority of us will never have to make such a huge choice as Caesar, but I do think more people should think this way with regard to choices.

Too often I feel people think a choice is simply … well … but of ‘the moment.’

Too often I feel businesses think a choice is simply … well … but of ‘the moment.’

Too often I feel like far too many people think in the next moment we can toss away the last choice and just make another choice.

Sure. That may be the case sometimes, but, as noted in ‘now or never’, not all the time.

Not all moments are created equal.

Not all choices can be changed, tossed aside or “un-choiced.”

Some choices are truly forks in the road where you cannot go back and start over. Some choices, well, ‘cast the die.’

I do believe most of us would be better off if we believed more of our choices should be thought of this way- as ‘the die have been cast’ choices. Why? I believe in our current “people need to adapt & be agile” to be successful attitude, we far too often think a new choice is a reflection of agility & “smart adaptation.” In doing so we run the risk that the initial choice cannot be tossed aside because it truly was a ‘fork in the road’ choice and, whether we want it or not, or like it or not, the die had been cast.

But, hey, that’s me.

Ok. One more thing. Let me take a minute to discuss an “irrevocable decision.”


“It is always thus, impelled by a state of mind which is destined not to last, that we make our irrevocable decisions.”

In Search of Lost Time, Volume II: Within a Budding Grove


‘Now or never’ is a state of mind which is but a window in time. In other words, it is there and gone. And it is within those windows in which irrevocable decisions are made.

To use the quote, it is within this window you throw the dice. Yeah. You actually throw your dice into what I will call “unknown-ville.”

Yikes. No wonder we hesitate to decide a choice is of the ‘die is cast’ mode. I say that because “irrevocable” is a lot like “forever” or maybe “never.” I mean that big, all encompassing, fraught with peril, audacious-type thoughts are captured in those little words.

And that is why many people do nothing in now or never moments.

Far too many just hold the dice. Why? Because it is scary to make an irrevocable decision.

It is kind of scary to know you will have thrown the dice and will never get to throw them again. And have to play them as they lay. Regardless how they lay.

Yup. That the die have been cast.

But know this.

If you do nothing when it is now or never, Life will cast the die. And Life will make the irrevocable decision.

Personally? I would rather cast my own dice.

Nothing against Life but while I imagine it would be a fun pal, I do not know it well enough to trust it with my fate.

When I make a choice I think, and accept, “the die are cast” and deal with what is before me. Ponder.

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Written by Bruce