Today saw the first mainstream media mention of Initiative.
The problem with most books and courses for starting things is that they assume you already have a winning idea and a team.
It’s great if you have them, but what about the rest of us? Few of us know before we start what we will love doing, yet how can we start if we don’t know what to do?
The best answer I’ve seen to this Catch-22 came in Joshua Spodek’s new book, Initiative: A Proven Method to Bring Your Passions to Life (and Work). He points out the flaws in thinking, “If only I knew my passion, then I’d act” or on the other side, “If I push myself to act, it will reveal what I want.”
The first way leads people to wait around, hoping a muse will whisper in their ear, but I never found inspiration from waiting. The second way leads to burning out and concluding that trying just leads to frustration.
Sometimes people get lucky and stumble onto something they love. But like an overnight success fifteen years in the making, most times people look lucky, it came from hard work. Besides, do you want to depend on luck for the most important things in your life?
Initiative, action, and passion work best in a cycle: taking a little initiative leads to moderate action, which leads to discovering some passion, which leads you to take more initiative, and the cycle continues. No big chasm.
It’s like how to get to Carnegie Hall: you have to play a lot of scales and musical exercises. Spodek’s book is the scales you play to reach your version of Carnegie Hall. You don’t have to use his “scales,” but I do love how simply he laid them out.
Read the rest of the article for the big picture on taking initiative.
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