Initiative

In building a firm foundation for Success, here are a few stones to remember: The wisdom of preparation. The value of confidence. The worth of honesty. The privilege of working. The discipline of struggle. The magnetism of character. The radiance of health. The forcefulness of simplicity. The winsomeness of courtesy. The attractiveness of modesty. The inspiration of cleanliness. The satisfaction of serving. The power of suggestion. The buoyancy of enthusiasm. The advantage of initiative. The virtue of patience. The rewards of co-operation. The fruitfulness of perseverance. The sportsmanship of losing. The joy of winning.

I am unfaithful to my own possibilities when I await from a change of circumstances what I can do on my own initiative.

Often those who seek only license for their plundering, cry “liberty.” In the guise of this Old American ideal, men of vast economic domain would destroy what little liberty remains to those who toil. The liberty we seek is different. It is liberty fro common people - freedom from economic bondage, freedom from the oppressions of the vast bureaucracies of great corporations; freedom to regain again some human initiative, freedom that arises from economic security and human self-respect.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.

The children who go to bed hungry in a Harlem slum or a West Virginia mining town are not being deprived because no food can be found to give them; they are going to bed hungry because, despite all our miracles of invention and production, we have not yet found a way to make necessities of life available to all of our citizens - including those whose failure is not lack of personal industry or initiative, but only an unwise choice of parents.

Details often kill initiative, but there have been few successful men who weren't good at details. Don't ignore details. Lick them.

Even if governmental conduct of business could give us more efficiency instead of less efficiency, the fundamental objection to it would remain unaltered and unabated. It would destroy political equality. It would increase rather than decrease abuse and corruption. It would stifle initiative and invention. It would undermine the development of leadership. It would cramp and cripple the mental and spiritual energies of our people. It would extinguish equality and opportunity. It would dry up the spirit of liberty and progress.

You cannot endow even the best machine with initiative the jolliest steamroller will not plant flowers.

This is what a father ought to be about: helping his son to form the habit of doing right on his own initiative, rather than because he's afraid of some serious consequence.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative [or creation] there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too... Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.

Social evolution is a resultant of the interaction of two wholly distinct factors: the individual… bearing all the power of initiative and origination in his hands; and, second, the social environment, with its power of adopting or rejecting both him and his gifts. Both factors are essential to change. The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.

Thoroughly living life requires initiative, risk taking, sustained action against the odds, making sacrifices for ideals and for others, and leaps of faith. People who live such lives report being happy, hopeful, and exhilarated – even when they fail.

Prolonged ideas paralyzes initiative.

Genius is initiative on fire.

The margin between that which men naturally do, and that which they can do, is so great that a system which urges men on to action and develops individual enterprise and initiative is preferable, in spite of the wastes that necessarily attend their process.

Freedom without responsibility is destructive, unity without individual initiative stifling, and equality that does not recognize differences is demoralizing.

A leader must give credit to a staffer for a job well done both personally and if possible publicly as well. The best rule: Be generous in sharing credit with subordinates when an initiative succeeds and be prepared to take the blame if it fails.

What this country needs is more people to inspire others with confidence, and fewer people to discourage any initiative in the right direction more to get into the thick of things, fewer to sit on the sidelines, merely finding fault more to point out what's right with the world, and fewer to keep harping on what's wrong with it and more who are interested in lighting candles, and fewer who blow them out.

Religion is more than a creed or a doctrine, more than faith or piety; it is an everlasting fact in the universe, something that exists outside knowledge and experience, an order of being, the holy dimension of existence. It does not emanate from the affections and moods, aspirations and visions of the soul. It is not a divine force in us, a mere possibility, left to the initiative of man, something that may or may not take place, but an actuality, the inner constitution of the universe, the system of divine values involved in every being and exposed to the activity of man, the ultimate in our reality. As an absolute implication of being, as an ontological entity, not as an adorning veneer for a psychical wish or for a material want, religion cannot be totally described in psychological or sociological terms.