Decision & Committment



Any design is based on a decision to do something.
And it turns out that how firmly that decision is made, and how committed we are to the vision and its specifics, totally determines how likely it is that the project is successful.




The Decision

A scientific & artistic exercise:
we propose you do a beautiful poster from the following piece of literature (with paints, calligraphy, collage, mosaic .. whatever seems most pleasing & interesting: if you want do it as a group!), 
& then put it in a place in your surroundings where you will see it every day.
Then observe IF it's true, for you, & tell us your observations (short & longer term)




"Until one is committed, 
there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- 

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), 
there is one elementary truth 
that 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."

(the quote is attributed to Goethe who wrote something similar in his Faust ... but it's actually from the book by W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951)

"The quote as you give it in a larger context seems to be from W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951. There the text apparently goes: 

'But when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money--booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. 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, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: 

          Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. 
          Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!'





Committment in Relationships


from p. 102 of "Wired for Love" by Stan Tatkin
(a couples therapist who specializes in applying the latest neurological research to real-life relationships.  And note that most basic things which apply to 'couples' also apply to any other kind of committed relationship)

Sometimes people say, "I don't want to committ until I can be sure this thing that worries me about you won't be a problem."  
I have heard variations of this from both men and women in my years as a couple therapist.  Popular deal breakers include religion, money, kids, time & sexuality.  
 
There's no better way to scare off a potential partner than to suggest he or she is inadequate with respect to any of these, or to insist that partner prove himself or herself before security is assured.   This kind of approach is doomed to failure.

Partners entering into a couple bubble agreement have to buy into it and own it to fully appreciate it.  The have to be in all the way.   When partners don't honor the couple bubble and complain they arent being well cared for, often the reason is that they get exactly what they paid for.  Pay for part of something, and you get part of something.

Now, you might argue, "Stan, how can you say I must buy him or her in order to know whether he or she is good enough?" 
My answer is that if he or she is so far from good enough, then he or she shouldn't even be a contender.  However, this isn't usually the case.  Mostly, I see partners who have carefully and thoughtfully chosen one another, but fear the problems that arise after getting to know one another better will become deal breakers.   

Typically, these problems involve the positive features each chose in the other person, which they now realize also contain annoying elements. 
For example, you may adore his sense of humor, but now dislike that he cracks jokes when you want him to be serious.  Or you may admire her musical talent, but be annoyed when she wants to practice the piano instead of walk with you.
Sometimes, partner in this situation want to bargain:  "Can I just take you with the parts I like, and we'll agree to hold the rest?"

Sorry.  This isn't a burger joint, where you get to hold the pickles and lettuce.  
You want it and buy it as is, or you move on.  
I realize this might sound harsh.  But I have said as much to couples.  And generally they respond by taking stock of the situation.  They recognize the toll their ambivalence is taking on the relationship.  Then they are able to move clearly in one direction of the other.