The Power of Commitment

I was reminded of one of my favourite quotes recently. Before I share it let me explain why it’s one of my favourites.

A friend of mine, Jamie, told me about a time in his life when he had separated from his wife and he was living in their house which was on the market. He was depressed and was struggling to move on with his life. The house was also not selling. His accountant told him that he believed Jamie was not committed to moving on with is life. Jamie heard this and decided to make a commitment to be out of the house, whether it sold or not, within a month. Even if it meant sleeping on a friends sofa, he was going to begin to move on with his life. The house sold a few weeks after that commitment.

When I left my well paid corporate job and was self-employed in a new career I thought I couldn’t afford to save. One day I decided to commit to saving even a small amount. I set up a direct debit and at the end of the month, I never missed the amount. I was saving.  I then periodically upped the amount.

This is the quote I love.

But when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money–booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. 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. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”
W.H. Murray

What is it you want to create in your life you are not committing to?

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