Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Begin it Now

“The path to hell is paved with good intentions.” This quotation is kind of harsh, but it is true.  I often write down things that I want to do but they just don’t get done.  When you’re talking to an old friend on the phone and she says “let’s get together,” and you respond “we’ll do that sometime.”  You really intend to do it, but often it never happens.  I’ve heard people say time and again “I’m going to learn how to speak Spanish one day.”  What they are really saying is it would be nice if I could speak a foreign language, but I am unwilling to take a class or listen to language tapes. This person will never learn to speak Spanish…until they make up their mind to do what it takes.  I was at a party several years ago playing oldies songs and a guy that was over fifty years old said “I’d give anything to play guitar.”  I asked him if he’d be willing to give an hour a day for the next two years.  He looked at me oddly.  We said our goodbyes and we went home.  The next day my phone rang and it was the guy from the party.  He said “your question put me to thinking and I asked myself  if I would seriously give up an hour a day to practice?”  After giving it a great deal of thought, he decided that he would indeed pay the price.  I told him to go out and buy a cheap practice guitar so that if he decided that it was not for him, he wouldn’t be out much.  He called me a few days later and he had purchased a $4,000 Martin guitar.  He was committed.I gave him eight or ten lessons and he learned quickly. It was obvious at his progress that he put in more than an hour a day of practice.  I saw him recently and he is still playing daily. He now performs at his church.  I was thrilled for him.
I have a saying on my desk that says:
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness, concerning all acts of initiative (and creation).  There is an 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 favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dream would have come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
-- by Goethe.
Zig Ziglar says “whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.”   --- but first you must commit and you must begin.

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