Until One is Committed

Find a motivational quote and write about it. In what way does it offer encouragement for you?

Holly Jahangiri
3 min readSep 21, 2022


Photo by Sanjay Hona on Unsplash

William Hutchison Murray wrote, in “The Scottish Himalayan Expedition”:

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.

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. I have 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.

I first ran across this quotation in 2006, just after I had decided to quit smoking. It resonated with me, and I printed it out, and stuck it to a corkboard on the wall behind my monitor.

I have not had a cigarette — not even a craving for one — since December 8, 2006.

I am not usually a huge fan of quotations. Why? So many of them are catchy little platitudes. They feel right, but they don’t withstand a lot of scrutinies. They’re about as valuable as the fortune tucked inside a cheap take-out cookie. But now and then, like a flash of lightning, one clicks into place like a puzzle piece. This is such a quotation.

If you don’t enter the contest, you can’t win. If you don’t make up your mind to write a book, you won’t. Life can happen to you by accident; decision by indecision is how far too many people live their lives. But if there’s something you truly want or need, you’ll commit to it, and you won’t hesitate to make a start. Once you make a start, you focus on the goal, and you begin to notice all sorts of things that might help you to achieve it. Unfortunately, if you’re not fully committed to the success of the venture, you will also notice obstacles…