Virtue of the Week: Initiative

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.Chinese Proverb
When you are taking the initiative and are going "outside of the box", that sick feeling in the bottom of your stomach that you think is a warning bell meant to keep you out of danger, is actually an indicator mechanism to let you know that you are headed in the right direction.Coach Traeger
Eagles don’t flock.Ross Perot

The Eagle and the Chicken

There’s an old fable that talks about a man who found an eagle’s egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eagle hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life, the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet in the air. Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings. The old eagle looked up in awe. ‘Who’s that?’ he asked. ‘That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,’ said his neighbor. ‘He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth—we’re chickens.’ So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was. Most people follow chickens, act like chickens and live out their life like chickens. But you can never attain the heights of success by having unsuccessful role models. You are not going to attain greatness by listening to and emulating those who want to keep you down at their level and hold you back from achieving the highest level of competence.

What Are You Waiting For?

The English essayist and divine of the 19th century, Sydney Smith, had this to say about initiative and courage: “A great deal of talent is lost in the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men who timidity prevented from making a first effort; who, if they could have been induced to begin, would, in all probability, have gone great lengths in the career of fame. The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold danger, but we must jump in and scramble through as well as we can.

“A man waits, and doubts, and consults his brother, and his particular friends, till one day he finds that he is sixty years old, and that he has lost so much time in consulting that he has no time to follow their advice.”

Videos about taking initiative: