Decision vs Hesitancy
This is a true story about a man named William Murray who was captured and spent time in a prison camp during World War II. He was a writer and a mountain climber before the war. He wrote his first book on toilet paper and stuffed it in a thin mattress in the POW camp. His writings were discovered by his captors and burned. He was beaten but picked up his pen and wrote again. He kept writing.
When he was released from prison he returned to his hometown. After regaining his strength, he began mountain climbing again. Edmund Hillary decided he wanted to summit Mt. Everest and he started to put his team together. He went looking for William Murray.
Nobody had yet summited Mt. Everest. Hillary told Murray he wanted him on his team. There were no sponsors. Each climber paid their way. William H. Murray knew he’d love to do this, however, he asked a very typical question. In his writings, he said, “I asked how much is it? How much do I have to have? When confronted with the price, I said oh, I can’t go and they went without me.”
Hillary put together the expedition and they began the climb. If you’re a mountain climber hitting the summit isn’t the only thing you love. You love the whole experience. That’s what you love to do. It’s where you come alive. Hillary and his team had a great expedition even though they didn’t summit Everest.
A couple of years later Edmund Hillary wanted to try again. He went and found Murray and said, “We all want you on the team. Come with us this time.” William Murray said, “I did exactly the same thing. I said how much is it and when confronted with the price I said I can’t do it.”
Again, the number is more than he thinks he can do. Again, he declines based on conditions. Hillary went and made it farther up the mountain and learned more.
A couple of years later Hillary comes to Murray again and says, “Listen, we’re going to go one more time. I think we’re going to summit this time because last time when I got off Everest, I looked at her and I said, ‘I will climb you because you’re not getting any bigger and I am. I have more information now. I’m getting bigger.’
When William Murray wrote about this in his book Absence of Evidence, he said it took all the courage he had to ask a different question. Instead of “how much is it” he asked, “How much is the deposit?” When he heard that number he knew it would take everything he had to make the deposit. His desire was so great, that he made the decision to put down the deposit knowing it was nonrefundable.
In his book he said, “When I was told what the down payment was, I knew I could put together the down payment. I had no idea how to go from there, but I said, all right, I’ll put the down payment down." which he did
Later in his writings about it Murray wrote,
“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
Think about that.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It’s absence of awareness.
We all can do the thing that we’ve dreamed up. Just because we can’t see any way to do it doesn’t mean we can’t do it. It just means we’re not aware enough to be able to see the things we can do that will get us there.
Murray shared this insight in his book,
“When I said nothing had happened, I had put the passage money down. It seemed like nothing had happened, but I was completely wrong. Even though I hadn’t left my house, I was already half way there.”
How can he be already half way there if he hasn’t left his house? He was committed to doing this thing and that changed him. He said, “I wasn’t going to spend that money or invest that money and not pay attention to it. I’m doing this.”
In his book, Murray goes on to famously describes what happened to him, with him and for him as a result of his commitment to the climb...
“Until one is committed, there’s hesitancy, the chance to pull back always ineffectiveness. There’s one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless plans and splendid dreams. The moment one definitely commits one’s self, then providence moves to. There issues, from that decision, all manner of unforeseen assistance, aid and support that one would have never dreamed would have come their way. I have learned great respect for one of Goethe's couplets:, ‘Whatever you can or dream you can, begin it because boldness has magic and power and genius in it.’”
You have a splendid dream. You can feel it.
There’s one elementary truth. The ignorance of this truth will kill your dream - a good dream, a worthy dream, an alive making dream. That truth is this...
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy.
The system with the least diversity conducts the most energy. Hesitancy is a wavering diverse energy. Our energy is going back and forth instead of having focus and coherency toward our goal. The moments add up when we’re wavering, and another year goes by. We don’t get that year back.
We need to decide for our dream.
We may need to make that decision every day. We can’t be wishy washy or think “I’ll see if it works out”. We need to make a “I’m doing this no matter what decision” because that will change us. Then we will be receptive to new ideas that will help us reach our goal.
Decide for your dream and do what you can with what you have. Take a bold step toward your dream.
Your partner in believing,
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