Answers from moms who know

One secret to success: taking the initiative

I know I’m only 21, but I’ve hit on one way to be successful: taking the initiative. What does “initiative” mean? According to, it means “an introductory act or step”. Those legendary figures that most people consider wildly successful (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Bruno Mars) didn’t become that way by letting things happen to them and hoping that they get what they want. They went out there, put their heart out and grabbed life by the horns to be where they are now. Yes, it took some luck, but no one would say that successful people became successful without initiative.

I know, I know. You know some people who’ve been wildly successful without trying hard at all – luck just seems to favor them all the time while leaving you in the dust right? I know these people as well, but you have to realize that they are a very very small minority and, believe me, they put in a lot of work as well. They might not have taken the initiative per se, but luck favored them because of the dedication they have to their craft.

The downside to taking initiative is that people can and will judge you. Once, I took the initiative and became the president of a club on my campus after the elected president couldn’t uphold his responsibilities due to academic pressure. The club did well under my “presidency” (haha), but there was a particular guy who would criticize everything I did. At first I took his criticisms into account and then started finding that most of his criticisms really had no basis. The last criticism he gave me before I stepped down from my role was that I was not beautiful enough to represent the club.

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