The Moment of Commitment

November 12, 2013


By Amy Hackworth. Ship blueprint available here.

A few days ago I attended a dinner at a business conference for entrepreneurs with my husband.  A man we sat near is happily working in a field he loves, but said that twenty years ago he would never have dreamed he’d be doing what he was doing now. It’s his third career, and his working life has been full of the unexpected, as many (most?) of our working lives are.

I love hearing about the paths people have travelled that have led to a perfect job or a dream fulfilled. It’s reassuring to hear happy endings when I feel I’m still in the middle of my own story. It seems that certain elements almost always emerge in these happy endings: a chance meeting here or a random connection there leads to a conversation that leads to a realization that leads from one opportunity to another. And somewhere on the journey is often a decision — seemingly simple but with far-reaching consequences— to pursue that work.

I love this passage about committing to a decision by Scottish mountaineer, W.H. Murray:

“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 dreamt would have come his way.”

Isn’t it wonderful to think that once we commit ourselves to an idea, a project, a purpose, or goal, that things begin to work in our favor, things we could never have dreamt would have come our way? And how thrilling to watch as one thing after another falls into place toward the fulfillment of that decision.

Do you see the moment of commitment as an essential step to success? Have you seen this kind of magic happen in your own life? Inspire us with your stories, please!

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November 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 aimee @ smilingmama November 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Ohhhh…I LOVE this! Throughout my life, I’ve often felt that I know that I”m on the right path when doors open that I didn’t even know were there!


2 Amy Hackworth November 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm

What a perfect way to say it, Aimee! I love the thought of doors opening that you didn’t even know were there. Wonderful!


3 Sara November 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm

We just bought a second home and moved while making our first home a rental. So scary for us! But our desire to meet this goal outweighed the other choice of staying stagnant and therein came the commitment! :) Hooray!


4 Amy Hackworth November 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Yahoo, congratulations, and good luck! :)


5 Bethany November 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Great insights and awesome quote! I think I need to frame that one.


6 Jen November 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Amy, I really enjoyed this post, and I do in fact, see commitment as an essential step to success and fulfillment. I feel a lot of pressure in my life right now to have everything figured out and I feel like everyone else my age has it all figured out already which is ridiculous, I know. In New York they’re just all really good at pretending, the frauds!

I’m trying to enjoy the present and remind myself that no one can predict the future. No one can really map out their life. That there are paths we are meant to walk that will be hidden to us until a future time. I know I do this a lot on your posts, but this is something I wrote about 6 months ago that reminded me of your theme here, although it is admittedly less sunny and more resolved. Thanks for your thoughts, as always, Amy.


7 Emily November 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm

I didn’t see it coming, but I picture myself changing careers after this summer as well. I want to spend more time with my family and have more freedom to create, taking a break from 6-12 graders. When this moment of commitment comes, I am excited to see what follows. Lovely post.


8 Jennifer November 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Oooo, I have a few great stories in my life like this…byt one of the best started with flipping thru Time magazine one day my senior year of college. In it, I read an article about a neat organization helping rebuild New Orleans (where I was headed for grad school). I was so fascinates that I did something crazy and committed. I tracked down the organization’s email, explained how I heard of them and asked to help out in exchange for room and board. A few weeks later and a fee more emails and phone calls, they said yes and offered me a stipend too. I worked for them and lived for free in an Episcopalian church with them that whole first summer of grad school and all because of a magazine article and a courageous ask.


9 Rachel J November 14, 2013 at 2:56 am


Three years ago my husband and I were unsure of what both of our next career moves were. He was a full-time musician, I was on maternity leave from my marketing job and our first son was ten months old. I had some vague and not so vague dreams for myself and the family – the big ones were to work as a writer and to live overseas – and didn’t think either would ever be possible.

Today both dreams have come to fruition.

The start? We committed to taking some risks with my husband’s career and mine. I didn’t go back to work, I started writing, my husband made a career transition and that lead to another career transition.

I look back and the trigger for all this change was a moment of commitment my husband made. It was a hard commitment that had big repercussions for our family and that he couldn’t do if I wasn’t on board to support him. We went for it and haven’t looked back with any regrets. The universe opened its arms to us after that and while it hasn’t always been easy it has always been so very worth it. A life lived in fear is a life half lived and to risk nothing is to risk everything. That’s what I tell myself when we have any moments of fear or doubt!


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