Begin It

An interesting quote from Goethe which crossed my path today with regard to innovation:

“Until one is committed there is hesitancy, a chance to draw back… There is one elementary truth – the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and many splendid plans. This is, 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 favour all manner of unforeseen incidents 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.”

8 comments so far

  1. practical psychologist on

    I love this. It’s similar thinking to the way that you suddenly see lots of the same car when you have just bought a new one yourself. We suddenly notice all the things that relate to our new world where we were blind to them before.

    In my positive thinking book I state that the word ‘begin’ is the most energetic in the english language. The energy of beginning…

  2. ArkAngel on

    In what way is “begin” the most energetic word?

  3. practical psychologist on

    Because it has inherent in its meaning words associated with action. What begin means to me (and the Mac thesaurus):


    But I could also add more off-beam words like innocence, virginity (losing), unshackled, life, birth, taking the first step.

    ‘Sometimes if you take the lid of the tin, you find you can’t get it back on again. Even if you wanted to’.

    Make Your Own Good Fortune’ – Douglas Miller

    I actually took this from (believe it or not) Giles Brandreth’s political diaries when he was briefly MP for Chester (these are the best chronicles of the disastrous Major years I have read – especially if you like your politics served with a bit of extra ‘sauce’). He quotes his local vicar who always said to him that it was the most energetic word in the english language when they were embarking on new initiatives.

  4. ArkAngel on

    In the beginning… there was beginning. Here endeth the lesson.

  5. practical psychologist on

    But as Churchill said – we have ‘the beginning’, ‘the end of the beginning’, ‘the beginning of the end’ and ‘the end’. Are you sure this conversation wasn’t ‘the end of the beginning’? Or is it ‘the end’?

    And when ‘the end’ comes is the energy created greater than ‘the beginning’. Was the big bang at ‘the beginning’ bigger than the big bang that will finish us off at ‘the end’?

  6. ArkAngel on

    Let me consult Professor Morrison…

    This is The End
    Beautiful friend
    This is The End
    My only friend, The End

    Of our elaborate plans, the end
    Of everything that stands, the end
    No safety or surprise, the end
    I’ll never look into your eyes …again

    Can you picture what will be
    So limitless and free…

  7. ArkAngel on

    from practical psychologist
    the background to the quotation:

  8. ArkAngel on

    Bob Geldof rounded off his inspiring speech at today’s The Innovation Edge (NESTA) conference at the Festival Hall, London with an extract from this quotation.

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