the power of the word

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Life has a funny way of bringing us to where we need to be, sometimes, indeed most of the time, without our even being aware that it is happening.

When I trained as a coach, we were given an extraordinary quote by a man whom I had not previously heard of. The words, we were told, were uttered by a mountaineer in reference to crucial point in one of his mountaineering expeditions.

It was a quote about the power of commitment and its author, W.H. Murray.

Subsequently, I have learned that W.H. Murray was indeed a mountaineer, but he was more than that, he was a crAzy™ man! He was a man who refused to accept that circumstances were final, even when they appeared to be  in contradiction to his commitment, especially if they appeared to contradict his commitment. He was a philosopher and a ferocious advocate for a subject that today is a global discussion; environmental protection. Environmentalism was not an in-vogue movement in the post-war Scotland of the 1950s and 1960s. Moreover, Murray was an author who was determined to share with the world the wisdom of life and mountains.

His statement on commitment is contained near the beginning of his book The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951) and I share it with you today:

“… 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. ” ~ W. H. Murray

Much love,

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