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Begin it now, by checking your references…

January 28, 2011

Well, I may be a “creative” now, but I am also a qualified librarian. So, before adding the quote below to this blog it seemed like a good idea to verify the source, even though I thought I knew the authorship.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. 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 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 dreamed would have 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.”

That is a quote from the renowned German polymath Goethe, right?

Um… well, no, apparently not.

Apparently, these are the words of a Scottish mountaineer, William Hutchison Murray. And there is a sentence missing, in which he refers to Goethe, to whom he attributes the last two lines, (incorrectly, as it happens).

At least this is the story I’ve found online. It could be wrong, and I could do more work to verify it… But hey, I’m a “creative” these days, with “splendid plans” to attend to…

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