Initiative and Commitment

Ran across this quote earlier today:

“Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”

~W. H. Murray

In looking into the quote, I then came across this rather amazing story on Wikipedia:

He then spent three years in Prisoner of War camps in Italy (Chieti), Germany (Moosberg, Brunswick) and Czechoslovakia (Marisch TrubeauOflag VIII-F). While imprisoned, Murray wrote a book entitled Mountaineering in Scotland. The first draft of the work was written on the only paper available to him – rough toilet paper. The manuscript was found and destroyed by the Gestapo. To the incredulity of his fellow prisoners, Murray’s response to the loss was to start again, despite the risk of its loss and that his physical condition was so poor from the near starvation diet that he believed he would never climb again. The rewritten work was finally published in 1947 and was followed by the sequel, Undiscovered Scotland, in 1951. Both concentrate on Scottish winter climbing and were widely credited with helping to inspire the post-war renaissance in the sport.

Here’s the thing:  if you knew your book was going to inspire a generation of mountain climbers, of course you’d be willing to write it twice.  Even in a prison camp, on toilet paper.

But, on the other hand, if you didn’t believe that was the case, if you didn’t truly think that the work would pay off, you’d never put in the work.  And the work is what makes all the rest possible–it’s what make commitment worthwhile.

So, remember:  the belief comes first.  Take the initiative to believe in bold dreams, make the relevant commitments, and start the work.  It’s the only way they’ll come true.


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