To Succeed, Learn To Take Initiative
There are many definitions of success, but to achieve most any of them, you must learn to take initiative. Unless you have a “lottery mentality” and are content to just hope that all works out OK and you simply, miraculously “become successful,” you need to be willing to set goals, then take initiative and do whatever it takes to achieve them.
Take a look around at the successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, sports stars and other people that you know or know of. How many of them are current or former pilots or avid sailors? Ted Turner, Richard Branson, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Williams, John Travolta, Harrison Ford and Arnold Palmer come to mind, but the list is much longer. What does one have to do with the other?
In all my time as an entrepreneur and now increasingly as I have started doing more coaching, research and writing on the topics of entrepreneurship, human “greatness” and peak performance, one pronounced trend I have noticed in those who succeed in all sorts of endeavors, is that they take control of their own destiny. They leave the “employee mentality” behind and develop the habit of determining and describing in a detailed way all that they are trying to accomplish, and then they chart a course to get there.
When they chart that course, they know that there will be obstacles and they know that they will likely be off-course a good portion of the time, but they also know that it is far better to have an imperfect path charted than to have nothing at all and just hope for the best. Successful people take initiative. They determine where they want to go, they set specific goals, and then they “just do it”. They don’t sit around waiting for success to come to them without effort or initiative. They know that is a fool’s game.
At its essence, this mentality boils down to taking control and taking ownership of your life, your ventures and your future. You must become the “pilot” of your life – even if you don’t literally become a pilot, you must assume the leadership, responsibility and control of where you take all aspects of your life. Rather than just being a passenger in life, take initiative! Think of yourself as the “pilot” of your life. It’s OK to have co-pilots, but it’s not OK to just sit in the back of the plane and hope that whoever is taking initiative and piloting your life will get you where you want to go. Do you know where you want to go? Are you willing to step up, take initiative and become the pilot of your business and the rest of your life?
Like those “successful” people and the “greats” mentioned above, you must be willing to take initiative realizing that life hardly ever goes exactly according to plan; you will need to monitor your progress and course-adjust on a regular basis. You must also learn to react calmly in the face of changes and danger; only by overcoming your fears will you be able to reach your goals. The knowledge and confidence inherent in having a course charted and having developed contingency plans will help considerably in maintaining calm and “pressing on”.
Be bold. Take charge. Take initiative. Overcome your fears and other limitations. Become the “pilot” of your life and all your ventures and watch how the results you achieve improve markedly.
I look forward to your thoughts and questions. Please leave a comment (“response”) below or in the upper right corner of this post.
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