Harness the power of personal initiative to achieve success

Jun 26 2013 - 9:34pm


"You have to put in many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you can achieve anything worthwhile." -- Brian Tracy

Think of something you want to achieve professionally that is really important to you. Now imagine having achieved it. You're basking in the satisfaction of a job well done. What does it look like? What does it feel like? How do you feel?

The ONLY way in which you will experience the joy, beauty and fulfillment that will come by achieving this goal is if you use your personal initiative. Your personal initiative is your inner power that starts all action. It is the enemy of procrastination. It's the spark that initiates your productive actions. Without personal initiative, you cannot be successful.

No matter what your goal is -- a top-producing sales person, or the owner of your own business -- if you are going to be successful, you must use your personal initiative to do the little things required of you to succeed. Sorry, but it won't happen any other way.

One of my fundamental beliefs is that the only way you will have personal initiative to do big things is by first using it to do the little things. Every big success is made up a great number of little successes, each of which requires personal initiative and many of which are so small and insignificant that only you notice, but they all add up.

I want to challenge you to start doing the little things that require personal initiative. As you build your confidence in doing the little things, then start stretching yourself to do the bigger things. Continue this process and allow each success to build on the prior one.

Here is a simple, five-step formula for achieving success.

STEP 1. SELECT A GOAL. Select one of the most important things in your professional life that you would like to achieve. 

STEP 2. IDENTIFY THE LITTLE THINGS. Make a list of as many little things as you can think of that will play a role in helping you achieve your desired results. You'll need to stretch your mind to create a list of at least 50 little things that will be contributing factors in achieving your goal. You will start with the obvious things that everyone else has thought of, but as you stretch yourself you will then begin to think of the things that will give you the edge -- the little things that will help bring about your intended results.

One of the fastest, easiest and most effective ways to expand your list of little things is to find experts on your topic and read their books and blogs.

STEP 3. GET STARTED. Organize and prioritize your list of these little things. Depending on the goal you've selected and your self-confidence, you can prioritize your list by importance, by the sequence in which you would do each item or by what's easiest. If you want to build your self-confidence, start with the easy things. The most important key is to get started.

As you build your confidence in doing the easy things, you will then gain confidence to do the harder things. And, by the way, I believe all top achievers started by building their confidence doing the smallest and simplest of things. 

STEP 4. GIVE YOUR BEST. Strive for excellence as you begin to focus on each item on your list. I don't use the term "striving for excellence" loosely. If you want to be successful at something, you must give it your very best. Half-hearted efforts are what average people apply to what they do, which is why they are average. If you want to be successful at whatever it is that's on your mind, you must strive for the highest standard that you are capable of reaching.

As you continue to reach for higher levels, you will achieve higher levels. The compounding effect of small daily improvements is where great success is achieved.

STEP 5. EXPAND YOUR LIST. Continue to look for little things you can add to your list.

This is your opportunity to step up your game and distinguish yourself from the others. This is your chance to use your unique talent, skill and ability to achieve your dreams.

You can be successful at anything that is important to you, if you will focus on the little things that matter.

Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from Northern Utah. He can be reached at bradlarsen@dailymasterpieces.com.

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