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Today I want to talk to you about the importance of taking initiative when working toward your goals. I remember one evening I was on my train ride home from work. The train was busier than usual, and it was hard to find a seat. I wondered why there were so many people on the train, and then I saw it. Several passengers were wearing t-shirts and jerseys representing the Dallas Stars, the local professional hockey team. As the train stopped next to the stadium, they all poured out of the train. As I watched them go, I thought to myself, I wish I were going to the Dallas Stars game tonight.

But I wasn’t going to the game that night. I didn’t have a ticket. It wasn’t that I had an especially busy night planned. In fact, I didn’t have any plans. I wasn’t going to the game because I hadn’t made a plan. I hadn’t taken the initiative to get tickets, or ask a friend if they wanted to go.

I don’t like to admit it, but this is a lot like my life. Often I kind of float along, expecting the things I want in life to just happen.

Here is something I have found to be true over and over again: The things you want in life don’t just happen. You have to make them happen.

Let that sink in for a minute. It’s a deep truth that applies to just about every area of my life. Take my relationships, for example. If I want more friends, or want to date more, or be more satisfied in my relationships, it probably won’t just happen. I have to take the initiative to call, make plans, join a dating service, and make it happen. The same is true for my physical health. If I want to get in shape or improve at CrossFit, it probably won’t just happen. I have to take the initiative to get to the gym, eat healthy, and make it happen.

During my first year of college, I thought making friends was just going to happen. So I wasn’t proactive about it. I didn’t make a huge effort or initiate relationships. And because of that, friendships didn’t happen, and I was unhappy. I transferred to a different school for my second year, and my friendships were a lot better. What changed? Was the second school just friendlier? Probably not. The difference was me. I knocked on people’s doors, met everyone on my dorm floor, and invited people to do things with me. And it worked. I took the initiative and made it happen.

If there is something about your life that you are unhappy with, or want to change, it probably won’t just change by itself. It will require initiative and energy on your part to make it happen.

Discussion: What is one area of your life that you want to take initiative to change? What is one step you could take in that direction?