22 – Initiative
Initiative is taking the opportunity to act or take charge before others do. It takes gumption and know-how to initiate an action independently. Recognize and do what needs to be done before being asked. In doing so, you are also contributing to the success of your entire team, business, or family. This allows you to be part of the solution rather than the problem. It allows you to look for ways to help and serve others or open new doors for favorable or lucrative opportunities rather than procrastinate and prolong or even deny a process. Believe that your actions can and will make a big difference, and show initiative. Lead the way.
Characteristics of Taking Initiative:
- Foresight. A need is generally perceived in order for initiative to be taken. Whether foreknowledge is involved or simply being prudent, there is an anticipation of a need. It is a necessary skill for a leader to practice mindful awareness and be attentive to the health of a business, family, or local community. Anticipate a need and meet it. Focus on finding and seeking a deficit, then take the initiative to do something about it.
- Intuition. Seasoned leaders have an innate sense of what might happen in some circumstances. They have intuition and an ability to perceive, or even "feel," or have insight regarding a potential outcome, thereby causing them to take initiative to spawn the process forward. Observe your senses. What are they telling you?
- Confidence. Someone willing to be the instigator of action is confident and self-assured. And someone self-assured and confident is generally willing to be the one to initiate an action. They go hand-in-hand. It takes confidence in yourself, your action, and a belief in the cause in which the initiating occurs. Be confident and take initiative!
- Sacrifice. At times, taking initiative means sacrificing on your part. It involves putting the needs or desires of someone else in front of your own. Perhaps it involves giving your time, skills, or finances freely without prompting. It is a selfless and kind act and giving of yourself for the love or benefit of someone else.
- Courage. It takes courage to step up when the consequences may not have even been revealed. Taking initiative may involve many unknowns, and it may therefore be a little unnerving to proceed while uncertain about what to expect. It takes bravery to navigate through some of these uncharted waters. It is also courageous to start something new. Imagine starting a new business after having been an employee working for someone else most of your life. True courage is realizing your unique potential and taking the initiative of a leap of faith to follow your dreams and take action now.
- Inspiration. There is a degree of inspiration involved with taking initiative, whether by volunteering to help in a position, offering a service, or taking action before a request has been made. Some drive or spark is a motivating factor, creating a desire to help or instigating a new process. Maybe it’s a vigor to lend a helping hand or perhaps begin a pursuit of your own invention. Find your inspiration. Then, utilize this inspiration and take massive amounts of action toward something big!
- Leadership. Taking initiative requires leadership skills. And at some point, everyone who is a "true" leader has taken initiative in one venue or another. It goes with the overseer territory. Any other leader is a leader by title only, not displayed action. Be a leader and take action.
- Resourcefulness. For a person to take initiative, they must be resourceful. Sometimes when you are the first to act, there may not be a lot of resources or information available. It takes some ingenuity and cleverness to devise a plan utilizing your own abilities, creativity, and items at your disposal, hoping for a fruitful endeavor. Be insightful and open to different ways to make things happen.
- Dynamic. Taking initiative involves having active strength of body, mind, and soul. A dynamic new energy evolves in the aspiration of starting a process before a request or command is initiated. An essence of hopefulness unfolds at the prospect of contributing to an anticipated need, even if that need is to begin a prosperous endeavor of your own. Take a vivacious approach and infuse it with positive energy.
- Moxie. New moxie is automatically gained by actually doing or participating in something. As you initiate an action, skills or expertise may develop as a result of this instigation of participation. Whether you performed preliminary research or learned as you proceeded, there is much to be learned, with educational rewards as well. You become more familiar with the topic at hand and, in some cases, maybe even have the opportunity to build a mastery of expertise from experience. "Unlock-sy" your moxie!
- Creativity. Often the most difficult part of a project is the beginning. How do you get started? When would be the best time to begin? It takes creativity to stir up the imagination for unforeseen possibilities. Creativity allows for innovative approaches and potentially original ideas. It defies procrastination, allowing for ingenuity to be exploited in a fun and fresh way. Shake up and wake up those creative juices!
Take initiative! Create your own path and embark on a journey of success and prosperity in body, mind, and spirit.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
“Apply yourself. Get all the education you can, but then…do something. Don’t just stand there, make it happen.” Lee Iacocca
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Milton Berle
“Success comes from taking the initiative and following up…persisting...eloquently expressing the depth of your love. What simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life?” Tony Robbins
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