George Washington Goethals, Chief engineer of Panama Canal Construction Project, advised a young man who lacked initiative, “My friend, you never will get anywhere unless you launch out, take chances, unless you are willing to run the risk of failure. If procrastination runs in your blood, if you have formed the habit of putting off, endlessly deliberating, waiting for better conditions, you will never get anywhere in the world”.
It is a great advice. The first thing is to begin. The world is full of people who are failures because they didn’t dare to begin. “Didn’t Dare To Begin” would make a fitting epitaph for millions of nobodies and millions of failures.
Begin on little things. Do them voluntarily without being told. Take the initiative repeatedly on little things and gradually you will get more self confidence and courage to take initiative on bigger things.
Every big accomplishment is made up of a lot of little acts, each requiring initiative to start. Divide a big job into manly little parts. Take initiative to do one by one. Give all your thought and energy to each part. Before you know it, the big job will be done.
And remember – it is more important to do, than to do well. Usually you do badly in the beginning. So stop playing perfectionist. Do not go through life starting some thing, getting it nearly completed, seeing that it is not a masterpiece and then throwing it away. If you give up your goals when you do not like what is happening and if you back away simply because you are experiencing discomfort, you can never achieve any good thing in your life.
On the contrary finish what you are doing with your full present capacity. Gradually you will get better and better. Do not define success as perfection. Think of success as a slight bit of improvement over what you were able to do before.
Men who achieve great things are the ones who have the initiative to attempt great things and discipline to stay with the tasks till the end.