For years, I’ve taught and lived by the writings of Germany’s “Shakespeare” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The guy is quoted in German as much as Shakespeare is in English. It also seems that over time the thoughts of other philosophers have been attributed to our Johnny boy.
One of Goethes’ most famous “attributed” quotes, the COMMITMENT quote, it turns out, he didn’t even write. The Goethe Society of North America investigated it over two years and found that few of these famous quotes can be attributed to Goethe. Instead, Scottish mountaineer W.H. Murray wrote some of it, and the rest comes from a translation of Faust by John Anster.
I honestly don’t care who said it.
Whoever did write it, excellent work, the argument of who wrote the quote takes away from its power. The statement is classic for those of us who live and teach positive mindsets and the power within them. The infamous Goethe Couplet says;
“Until one is committed, there is always 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 commits oneself, then Providence moves too. Multitudes of things occur to help that which otherwise could never occur. A stream of events arises from the decision raising to one’s favor all manner of unforeseen accidents, meetings, and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would come their way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
In current terms, the meaning is simple; Get off the couch and go to work. Have a vision for yourself, and then make it happen. But, nothing happens until you “Begin it now.”