Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Take the Initiative!

If someone else always does things for you. . .you don't know your own abilities!  The wise mother lets her daughter stir up the cookies all by herself after a few tries together.  The kind father lets the son take a summer job and learn to stand on his own feet early.  The greatest thrill in life is in discovering that what once was hard has become easy. . .or at least within the range of your understanding.  To discover that you can is the whole joy of learning how to make a set of bookshelves with your basement tools. . .or learning how to make a dress on your portable sewing machine.

All teachers of beginners should be wise and tolerant, sympathetic and understanding.  You won't always find them so.  You must use your initiative to start new things. . .your courage to keep on with them until they become easy.

You can't say "I have such-and-such abilities.  I could never do thus-and-so."  How do you know you couldn't?  Human potentiality is almost unlimited.  Of course there will be certain things you are more adapted to than others.  Whichever type you are, try. . .if even for a short time. . .one of the pursuits that seems more difficult.

You may be surprised to find yourself making a better birdhouse than the next one.  And if you were always deep in books and speeches before, the use of your hands. . .the feel of power over tools. . .will be good for you!  It will give you the mental rest and change you need.

The magic lies in taking it slowly at first, doing the simple easy job.  Simplicity is best in most things anyway.  It is certainly the best way to learn.  Don't be ashamed of your simple work.  This is the biggest most important lesson anyone can learn.

If you always worked with tools. . .try taking an adult recreation course.  Persist. . .do not take yourself too seriously.  Soon you'll be doing the impossible!

You can accomplish these good deeds. . .these successes you sometimes dreamed of but were too timid to try.  Haven't you seen the amateur theatrical in which the local tailor or plumber turned out to be the hit. . .because he could summon a naturalness and a gusto which outshone the mannerisms of experience actors?  That's what usually happens when we bring a fresh new interest to something.  That's why a change of activity is always good to give a person for recreation.

We might call this discovery of hidden treasures within ourselves mining for the hidden gold!  You don't know what you can do until you have tried to do it!

Learning to do things for yourself and to enjoy the doing of them is the best foundation for happy living you can have!  You certainly would think anyone who started out to build a cathedral tower without any foundation at all was acting foolishly, wouldn't you?  It's the same way when you start living a life by just looking on. . .without ever feeling the thrill of activity, of work and play, yourself.  If so, you're leaving out the solid foundation for the fun of living.  The greatest joy in learning you will find. . .is to do things yourself.

Don't let anyone scare you a way by telling you  you can't.  Of course you can't. . .until you give yourself a chance to learn how.  The joy is not in turning out a perfect work.  No one ever turned out a perfect work anyway.  The joy is in the doing!  So raise your own pansies or petunias, make your own tea cups or coffee tables.

The label "handmade" still means quality. . .but more than that, it means happy leisure hours for someone.  so whether it is plastics or seashells, or new synthetic fibres for waving. . .get yourself a hobby and hang on to it.  Do it yourself and watch your self-confidence grow.  You'll learn to take initiative at the office, in social functions, too.

Of course taking initiative doesn't mean honing in on everybody else's business.  Nobody likes a busybody. . .but everybody like a go-getter!  The boss wouldn't like it if you started bypassing him or popping up with needless questions. . .he would like it if you were right there with the right answers when he needed you.  He' like it if you came up with a sound suggestion at an office meeting. . .not just yes or no.

It is lazy to expect everybody else to think for you.  Remember to exercise your mind as well as your body.  Initiative is the fifth secret for Important Living.

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