Nido R. Qubein, a well-known speaker, pointed out by saying "Most of history's greatest achievements have been accomplished not by the most talented but by the people who are willing to take on great risks and challenges and see them through." In other words, the main ingredient of success is not talent. Then, what is the "secret sauce" that can open the special gateway that can take you quickly towards success? Initiative and lateral thinking alone will provide you with the competitive edge that can take you on the highway to success.
For example, if you are working in an organization and if you do your work as per the exact instructions you receive, there is nothing to feel proud about. Of course, you make all possible efforts for not deviating from the instructions. But do not forget that this is a trap because if you have this mentality, you will continue to be just "another employee." You will never receive accolades nor will laurels come to you. This means you will have a slow growth in your career. Similarly, you cannot fast-track your journey towards success in your life if you lack initiative or if you do not think out-of-the box.
Those who succeed are aware that they cannot depend upon instructions from others to carry out their work. They always focus their energy on finding ways for improving their efficiency in doing things. Their ability to think out-of-the-box will be 'visible' to everyone.
But what is this out-of-the-box thinking? It is more about looking at all the angles, foreseeing situations and coming out with innovative ideas and solutions. Out-of-the-box thinking will help in being proactive. So, by developing this proactive thinking habit, you can "breathe life into your life." In other words, once you develop this habit, you will not wait for things to happen. On the contrary, you will start creating your own opportunities. This means your proactive actions will galvanize the speed of your growth and catapult you to amazing heights.
On the other hand, normal and average folks react to situations and they cannot move forward at a fast pace. But there is good news for these normal and average people also because they too can become proactive "initiators." Let us see how you can develop certain habits that may help you in becoming a proactive person.
1. Assume responsibility for your actions. When you make efforts to succeed, you may face problems but you and you alone are responsible for them. Not only that, you cannot rely upon others for having solutions to your problems because it is you who is aspiring to succeed. Blaming others or your circumstances for your problems will not fetch you success.
2. Focus only on things that are under your control. Remember that you cannot control many things and if you focus on them, you will be wasting your energy, time and other resources. You may end up getting frustrated. In extreme situations, you may decide to quit also. On the other hand, if you focus on things that are under your control, you will be able to come out with ideas and solutions.
But how to come out with unique ideas or solutions? The best way is to be an omnivorous reader. It is not necessary that your ideas will come only from the books or materials that are related to your field. You can get ideas even from sources that are completely unrelated to the field in which you are operating.
3. Set realistic and achievable goals. A smarter way is to split even these goals into smaller goals. But you must make it a point to set time-frames for achieving these small goals. On the other hand, if you set very lofty goals that you cannot achieve, you may very soon get frustrated and stop making efforts.
4. Consistency is the key. There is no point in being a proactive person only on certain occasions. You should consistently be proactive which means you should make it a habit. If you constantly look for ideas to do things in a better manner, others will certainly notice you very soon. This will fast-track your success.