I am amazed at how quickly time has been passing. To believe it’s now September and there are three more full months ahead is truly unbelievable. This year has definitely seen its vicissitudes on a global scale and has been hard for plenty of us. But while it started out relatively rough for me, I’ve learned in the months since, a lot about myself and what it means to have a strong faith in the work I do.
It might sound repetitive, but it is not easy to mend a broken heart. I have been trying for months to find some sort of way to get out of this tangled web of heartache that sometimes still lingers through parts of me. Yet through it, I dove further into work — writing, to be more exact. I love writing and not only has it been an appreciated form of catharsis, but I’ve found my steady focus on work as a means of helping understand my purpose in this world, while healing this scarred part of me.
If a broken heart has taught me anything, it’s that I never want to live a life of stagnancy. There are some times in our life when we run pretty stagnant and wonder what more could we be doing to fulfill our lives. Meaning and purpose can be hard to decipher when we’re so unsure of where to head or how to get there. However, this past year has shown me that by following your gut and working hard, you can unleash your passion simply by taking initiative.
If there’s one thing we remember from the great Maya Angelou, it’s that if we don’t like something happening in our life, we need to change it. And if you can’t change it, you have to change the way you think about it. Whether it’s relationships, career or even maintaining social circles, taking initiative is essential if we want to succeed. When you show initiative, you do things without being told. You harness the strength of what you know and utilize it towards your advantage to keep things going when they get tough. Simply put, initiative is more action than reaction, and if you push yourself little by little each day, you can improve your circumstances.
A study from the University of Giessen suggests personal initiative as a behavioral syndrome that results in individuals taking active and self-starting approach to work, goals and tasks in a persistent manner. As a result, these individuals not only change the environment they are in thanks to their active approach, but they change internally as well.
Unearthing your desire for more through personal resourcefulness can be a lot like finding your personal road map. It’s not easy without a compass and can be pretty scary, but trust the timing of your life and the path you are on to help you understand yourself better. Through this journey of understanding, you gain a greater insight into what your passion is. And the best part is, when you discover what your passion is, you not only feel motivated by it to drive you further, but you have a much clearer vision of what the next step could be to change your world.
While there are many people who play it safe, thinking it doesn’t matter to give it an extra push, need reminders or their hand held for every little task, it’s important to know there is a great power in taking initiative and letting your life flow easier when you give it your all.
One of the best parts of taking initiative is that it cultivates a strong confidence in everything you do. Keep in mind that small successes set our life up for larger ones, so take note of your accomplishments, be humble, and keep the momentum going. For example, create small goals that help you achieve quick victories. Not only will this push past your fears to do plenty of positive and daring things, but it also builds confidence. It can be a little daunting at first and super scary, but it takes courage and a strong self of self to take initiative in everything you do. Eventually, this confidence from initiative helps you tackle tasks you never imagined taking on.
Over the course of this year, I’ve also realized how taking initiative in everything we are set out to do, whether in our careers or personal life, helps us to create a better sense of self. By letting me explore what I’m good at, initiative allows me the opportunity to own my individuality with poise, while discovering what I’m truly capable of. Once I started keeping that momentum from pushing myself in everything I do, it gave me the understanding to keep going and getting what I want. When you take initiative, you’re taking responsiblity for your life and everything in it. It’s a great personal power and nothing is worse than losing control of your life to others. Get behind the wheel of your life and drive yourself to where you want to be.
When you take personal initiative, you’re seeking valid methods in altering your narrative. Not only does it spark an inner dialogue for what you seek or the person you wish to be, but it also helps you to become much more productive. That fear you use to feel also magically vanishes thanks to that momentum you kept by taking initiative. But that said, the only way to really be happy and feel that fulfillment in everything you do, is to push yourself and nothing can be done without it. Find common themes in your history and understand what works, what doesn’t and build on the latter for success. If you want to experience joy, beauty and purpose, take initiative because without this action you won’t achieve or find what you’re looking for.
Trust me when I say, life is hard and trying to make things right, is even harder. But whether you try anything that helps you to improve yourself, your heart or your work, know that you’ve done a great service to yourself just by trying. It’s the first step in everything you do because life revolves only around us trying and taking initiative for the things we want. Moreover, personal initiative gives you an edge in your realm because you stand out among the others — you’re the one making things happen instead of watching them unfold. Many people say time changes things, but that’s just it — we’ve all been misinformed. We have to change our own life like Angelou advised and it starts with taking initiative in little things that mean something to us. President Barack Obama said the best way to not feel hopeless was to get up and do something.
“Don’t wait for good things to happen to you,” he said. “If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
Hope is a good thing and as it’s known, no good thing ever dies. But his words reiterate that hope can only exist if we make a step for change. No matter what your goal is, it’s essential to know we are each our own creation of our world, so anything that occurs in life that is not to your liking, well, that’s on you. Instead of wading through this pool of life and doing what is required of you whether it’s your job or relationship, go above and beyond — do extra things that bring you more meaning and most importantly, feed hope for others. Success only comes to those who are driving their ambitions through a proactive approach, and anything less is stagnant.
How much initiative are you willing to take today to improve your world?
Editor-in-Chief, The Hudsucker
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