The power of action

Throughout my college career, I had this quote by William H. Murray pinned to my bulletin board:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. … 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 and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way. 

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

It was a powerful reminder to me that commitment is the one thing necessary to make a dream a reality. And, the best way to show your commitment is to act. Make a move, no matter how small, to get your dream off the runway. Repeat that simple step enough times, and before you know it, you’ve achieved liftoff.

Are you looking to reboot your career? Start with some constructive daydreaming. Plan your ideal future. Who will you be? What job will you have? Create actionable goals to make these dreams a reality, and then actually work on them.

Do you have an idea for a story, screenplay, or novel? Set a deadline, create a writing schedule, and stick to it.

In launching my own enterprises this year, I’ve been given an incredible opportunity to put Murray’s words into practice. You know what I’ve discovered? It’s true. Commitment does open doors to new opportunities.

Every action you take toward achieving your goal increases your confidence, which in turn makes you eager to tackle bigger challenges. You become more positive, and your positive attitude acts as a beacon, attracting like-minded people and opportunities. Instead of dwelling on what could go wrong, you focus on what could go right, and then you make it happen. You believe more in yourself and, as a result, other people start believing in you, too.

Only action, as Thomas Carlyle writes, can dispel doubt. If you struggle with self-doubt, then take action. Do something bold. Take a first step, no matter how small. Or, as Carlyle says,

“… let him who gropes painfully in darkness or uncertain light, and prays vehemently that the dawn may ripen into day, lay this other precept well to heart …  ‘Do the Duty which lies nearest thee,’ which thou knowest to be a Duty! Thy second Duty will already have become clearer.”

Photo © Bridget Manley

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