Last week I wrote about my father-in-law in my blog post “What’s Your Bus?” My father-in-law’s story was the story of every self-made man. Mainly it was about not accepting the “no” life always gives you, again and again, on the road to success. Unfortunately, I feel more and more people would rather say “yes” to the world telling them “no” today than ever before. Do you agree? The problem though isn’t just people unwilling to push the status quo by pushing back when the world tells them “no,” but rather not even being motivated to reach the status quo! I feel no trait is more lacking today than that of initiative. In fact, I see it lacking so much today that many people don’t even have the initiative to reach the status quo. To me the status quo is one’s ability to take care of oneself. When someone isn’t self-sufficient enough to take care of themselves, how is it they could possibly provide for others? If one can’t provide for themselves, and therefore someone else, namely a spouse or a child, than what hope is there for society? Now, I’m not saying the second coming is near, but I am saying it’s the job of those with initiative to do something about the continuous rise of our entitlement society.
Those who aren’t willing to step up for themselves look to others to do it for them. It’s not fair but neither is life – right? As you might imagine however, this is maddening for many self-made people even if they agree that life’s not fair. I’d like to address all of you, whom like me, in my weaker moments, think it’s not fair that life’s not fair. Here it goes.
Initiative as I see it comes regardless of the spoils. Now that’s nothing against the spoils, which certainly help lubricate the wheels of the road to success, but rather a plug for the underlying motivation of one’s initiative. If one desires riches but isn’t ready to put in the work to earn them, then they better play the lottery! If one is willing to do the work but only for the riches I profess they, not much unlike those who lack initiative, are missing the forest for the trees. There’s a reason the road to success is a journey and not a destination. That’s because I believe to live life to the fullest one must be always raising the bar for themselves. That’s why I feel most sorry for the seemingly increasing percentage of society that feels entitled not to have to even work hard enough to support themselves let alone others! What an unfulfilling life indeed.
But on the flipside, those souls who have initiative simply for the pursuit of the spoils, also miss the forest for the trees. What a sad life they lead!
Rather I think the perfect description of initiative for initiative’s sake can most eloquently be summarized by Theodore Roosevelt’s timeless quote.