Topic : Initiative


In his book Being the Best (Thomas Nelson Publishers), Denis Waitley has some interesting observations about procrastination.

“When you stop to think about it,” he says, “there is no such thing as a future decision. You face only present decisions that will affect what will happen in the future. Procrastinators wait for just the right moment to decide. If you wait for the perfect moment, you become a security seeker who is running in place, going through the motions, and getting deeper in a rut.

“If I wait for every objection to be overcome, I will attempt nothing. My personal motto is, Stop Stewing and Start Doing. I can’t be depressed and active at the same time. I like changing the word motivation slightly to reflect a personal commitment to take charge of today and make it the best day I can—motive plus action equals motive-action.

“Everybody is looking for new ways to get motivated. Companies and corporations pay sizable fees to consultants who try to make their personnel more productive and fire up their salespeople. A motivated person thinks, I’m going to try it. But motivation must turn into motive-action, or nothing will happen. “That is the quandary of the unknown poet who wrote:

I spent a fortune
On a trampoline,
A stationary bike,
And a rowing machine
Complete with gadgets
To read my pulse,
And gadgets to prove
My progress results,
And others to show
The miles I’ve charted—
But they left off the gadget
To get me started!

“The gadget that can get you started is motive-action. “Try it and see!”

Bits & Pieces, June 22, 1995, pp. 6-7.

Getting Up

There is a close correlation between getting up in the morning and getting up in the world.

Ron Dentinger in Dodgeville, Wis., Chronicle



John Wesley traveled 250,000 miles on horseback, averaging twenty miles a day for forty years; preached 4,000 sermons; produced 400 books; knew ten languages. At eighty-three he was annoyed that he could not write more than fifteen hours a day without hurting his eyes, and at eighty-six he was ashamed he could not preach more than twice a day. He complained in his diary that there was an increasing tendency to lie in bed until 5:30 in the morning.

Source unknown

Not my Job

Some years ago a former American astronaut took over as head of a major airline, determined to make the airline’s service the best in the industry. One day, as the new president walked through a particular department, he saw an employee resting his feet on a desk while the telephone on the desk rang incessantly. “Aren’t you going to answer that phone?” the boss demanded.

“This isn’t my department,” answered the employee nonchalantly, apparently not recognizing his new boss. “I work in maintenance.”

“Not anymore you don’t!” snapped the president.

Today in the Word, MBI, December, 1989, p. 35

Founder of Eastern Airlines

He was born in Columbus, Ohio, 1890, the third of eight children. At eleven he quit school to help with the family expenses, and got his first full-time job at $3.50 per week. At fifteen he got interested in automobiles and went to work in a garage at $4.50 a week. He knew he would never get anywhere without more schooling, so he subscribed to a correspondence home study course on automobiles. Night after night, following long days at the garage, he worked at the kitchen table by the light of the kerosene lamp. His next step was already planned in his mind—a job with Frayer-Miller Automobile Company of Columbus.

One day when he felt ready, he walked into the plant. Lee Frayer was bent over the hood of a car. The boy waited. Finally, Frayer noticed him. “Well,” he said, “what do you want?” “I just thought I’d tell you I’m coming to work here tomorrow morning,” the boy replied. “Oh! Who hired you?” “Nobody yet, but I’ll be on the job in the morning. If I’m not worth anything, you can fire me.”

Early the next morning the young man returned to the garage. Frayer was not yet there. Noticing that the floor was thick with metal shavings and accumulated dirt and grease, the boy got a broom and shovel and set to work cleaning the place. The rest of the boy’s future was predictable. He went on to a national reputation as a racing car driver and automotive expert. In World War I he was America’s leading flying ace. Later he founded Eastern Airlines. His name—Eddie Rickenbacker.

Bits and Pieces, December, 1989, pp. 22ff

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