Two famous quotes on courage and commitment by Marianne Williamson and William H. Murray

Here are two famous quotes I’ve admired that have to do with overcoming our fears, believing in ourselves, and having the courage to commit to our dreams, which then moves Nature to support us in ways we never would have imagined. They seem to be related in an important way — having the confidence and courage to commit to ourselves and fulfill our life’s purpose.

The first quote, having the courage to overcome our fears to become our true self, is from Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return To Love. It’s often been mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela, who used it in his 1994 Inaugural Speech.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?” Actually who are you not to be?

YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. And as we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

This second quote, on commitment, was thought to have been written by Goethe, but it is from William H. Murray, author of The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London, 1951).

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.

W. H. Murray’s book details the first Scottish expedition in 1950 to the Kumaon range in the Himalayas, between Tibet and western Nepal. The expedition, led by Murray, attempted nine mountains and climbed five, in over 450 miles of mountainous travel. You can read more about this on About.com: German Myth 12: The Famous “Goethe” Quotation.

I just came across a similar post by Joseph Ranseth: 3 of the Greatest Quotes – W.H. Murray, Henry David Thoreau & Marianne Williamson. Ranseth cites the more complete Murray quote in context, where he describes the initial steps he and his party were taking before they actually started the mountain-climbing part of the expedition. Their commitment and follow-through precipitated Providence moving in their favor, which explains how he came to write about the power of commitment and its results. Murray also acknowledged and paraphrased a translation of Goethe’s couplet at the end of his quote.

The article also includes a selection from Thoreau’s Walden, Chapter 18. He also went in the direction of fulfilling his dreams when he chose to live self-sufficiently at Walden Pond. He described his opening up to deeper more universal laws of nature during his two-year seclusion and how that impacted his life. The quote ends with these famous lines: “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” But what proceeds them is quite profound. I recommend you read that section of the blog post.

Marianne Williamson’s quote reminds me of Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech he gave at MUM this year where he told students they will only have two choices in life — love or fear. He said, “Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

Watch Videos of MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey and see Some Reports on @JimCarrey’s Commencement Speech at MUM @MaharishiU #mumgraduation.

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3 Responses to “Two famous quotes on courage and commitment by Marianne Williamson and William H. Murray”

  1. Margot Suettmann Says:

    Wonderful quotes! Thank you, Ken!!!

    Like

  2. Pablo Garrido Says:

    Thank you for sharing these quotes.

    Like

  3. Ken Chawkin Says:

    Here is that section from Chapter 18 in Thoreau’s Walden:

    “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.
    In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.
    If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

    Like

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