How Boldness has Genius, Magic, and Power In It



There is something amazingly powerful about taking decisive action.

It’s like flipping a switch and deciding it will be so.

It’s a completely different experience than waffling or wading through the jungle of indecision.

I was talking through the power of decisive action with one of my mentors, when they shared a quote with me.

The quote expresses the power of bold decisions in an articulate way.

It goes like this:

Until one is committed, there is a 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 not otherwise have occurred.

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 would have dreamed would 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, magic, and power in it.’”

The quote is from W.H. Murray, in The Scottish Himalayan Expedition, 1951.

What bold decision might invent new possibilities in your life?


  1. Hello J.D.

    That’s a great quote by W.H. Murray.

    “Until one is committed, there is a hesitancy, the chance to draw back; always ineffectiveness…”

    That defines me completely. Until I commit, I tend to walk on the fence and lurk, rather than be bold and assured.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. This is one of my favorite quotes of all times. I am so often sorry it is used in so many advertising campaigns for I think it loses its strength. Thank you for sharing the whole thing.

    I too often just dive in – it has served me well over my lifetime – always wanting to be first to share my work at school, because if I got the assignment wrong, then the teacher would let you do it again because you went first…a good offensive play for a special ed. kid and I was such an introvert socially it helped to balance.

    I recently with Wise Ears just jumped into a newsletter format and followed my business teachers instructions – this is supposed to be an easy one and I see it being used on many of the top blog sites…after two months of trying to learn how to do this software and spinning my wheels I realized I would not be able to do this program so I went back to my old format this weekend and will begin again…Although I lost ground, time and money, the relief I felt was so amazing and I was able to draft 3 creative posts and edit 2 of them for the release of tension. I do have energy now to begin again…

    IT Girl has time to translate the word document onto the blog and add a picture…much of my resistance has stopped.
    Vered, from Momgrind had earlier this year sent me a how to do Keywords post….after doing the tutorials for the new program, I now am able to understand how to do the SEO format….
    Now I just need folks to sign up for my services so I can actually make an income…
    Wise words – thank you for sharing

  3. I love this point. Over the weekend I was watching some games. You could see what kind of power the players had over the other team when they played with boldness.

    Hesitation often resulted in mistakes being made and weaknesses being exploited.

    This was a great post J.D.

    Thanks for sharing.


  4. @ Jk — I’m always amazed by the degree of difference between when I dabble and when I dive. When I dive into the deep end of the pool, I find my most resourceful self.

    @ Patricia — Creating a successful business on the Web is no easy venture, especially on your own.

    While some successes on the Web look easy, the stories behind their success are nearly always rich with mistakes and a trail of lessons learned. The reason why some look easier than others is because they do what they would do for free … which makes the toil and trouble, not so much trouble at all.

    @ Bryce — It sure does seem like confidence is contagious, and the momentum it builds can grow like a snowball. There is a lot of truth to the old saying, “He who hesitates is lost.”

  5. Hi JD .. wise words that’s for sure … Goethe’s couplet says it so well:

    “‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.’”

    You’re certainly an example of that .. I too have made decisions and will be enacting them shortly – at least getting on the rocky road ..

    Cheers for now .. Hilary

  6. Hi JD,
    It’s true, if there were ever a time to be bold and grab a dream and run with it – it’s now! I’m taking a leap now too- Monday I announced my book which will be published later this month! It doesn’t get much bolder than this! 🙂
    Nice to meet you JD!

  7. I love that quote, JD. It has been a recurring one in my life. When I make a bold decision, I am acting as though my world is as I want it to be, and I pre-tend that I possess the qualities that I want exhibiting through me. When we do this a moment comes when we feel like what Martha Graham described as an “Athlete of God” and this is that incredible unfolding of “Providence moving too”.

  8. @ Hilary — Thank you.

    Great move acting on your decisions, and decision is always the first step to new adventures.

    I think a great living example of this in action is Richard Branson. He seems to drive his life from bold action.

    @ Lori — Congratulations on your new book! It’s a great thing to share and scale our experience and insights with the world.

    @ Rob — I get the sense that bold decision and couragious action have played a key role throughout your life, and has allowed you to ROAR in ways you never imagined. It’s great that your imagination now is the source of your possibilities and new realities.

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