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A Key 21st Century Life Skill for Taking Initiative in Planning and Self-Start as One Own

Pandan Wangi. Bandung, West Java.

Initiative to Plan. Initiative to Start. Initiative to 1 Own.


Once, we saw an image of several animals being summoned and asked to climb the tree. Moreover, some quotes that the quote is not even known when it is being shown. However, there is a truth in it: if we measure everything by the similar ability to climb the tree, then only some animals can get past it, while the rest may break and fail on it. Similarly, with the current system of learning, while everyone gets measured to pass the paper examination, then what will come to an end for those who cannot pass the paper examination but are capable of doing some stuff than those who pass the paper exam? Should education focus genuinely on the measurement based upon paper exams or based on something else that we have been aware of?

Now, considering the importance of taking Initiative as a 21st-century life skill, how might integrating initiative development programs in educational settings enhance students’ ability to become self-starters and problem-solvers? Drawing from the strategies outlined in the article, explore how educational institutions can create environments that encourage and support students in cultivating initiative-taking behaviors. Additionally, discuss the potential impact of such initiatives on students’ academic performance, personal growth, and future success in various domains.


In the fast-paced and dynamic 21st-century world, individuals must possess various life skills to thrive in various personal and professional domains. One such essential skill is taking Initiative, which involves making plans and starting on one’s own accord. This article explores the significance of taking Initiative as a 21st-century life skill, highlighting its importance, benefits, and practical strategies. By understanding and developing this skill, individuals can become self-starters, improve their problem-solving abilities, and increase their chances of success in various endeavors.

I. Understanding the Significance of Taking Initiative

Taking the Initiative is a proactive approach that empowers individuals to seize opportunities, explore new avenues, and accomplish goals. It involves actively identifying and pursuing desired outcomes rather than waiting for instructions or relying solely on external direction. By embracing Initiative, individuals take charge of their lives, fostering a sense of agency and autonomy.

II. Benefits of Taking Initiative as a 21st Century Life Skill

  1. Enhanced Problem-Solving Abilities: Taking Initiative cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills. When individuals proactively identify challenges and devise plans to overcome them, they develop an innovative and adaptable mindset. That allows them to tackle obstacles more effectively and find innovative solutions.
  2. Increased Productivity and Achievement: Initiative fosters a proactive work ethic, increasing productivity and accomplishment. By taking the Initiative to start projects or tasks, individuals can avoid procrastination and build momentum. This proactive approach can lead to higher levels of success in academic, professional, and personal pursuits.
  3. Improved Leadership and Entrepreneurial Potential: Taking Initiative is a fundamental attribute of influential leaders and entrepreneurs. Leaders who proactively identify opportunities, inspire others, and drive change are more likely to succeed. By developing this skill, individuals can enhance their leadership qualities and entrepreneurial mindset, positioning themselves for success in various roles.

III. Strategies for Developing the Skill of Taking Initiative

  1. Cultivate a Growth Mindset: Developing a growth mindset is crucial for embracing Initiative. Recognize that abilities and skills can be developed through effort and practice. Embrace challenges, view failures as learning opportunities, and believe in your capacity to grow and adapt.
  2. Set Clear Goals: Clearly define and break your objectives into actionable steps. Setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) provides a clear roadmap for taking Initiative and concrete actions toward desired outcomes.
  3. Seek Opportunities for Growth: Actively seek out opportunities for growth and learning. Engage in self-reflection to identify areas where you can take Initiative and expand your skills. Volunteer for projects, pursue new experiences, and seek mentors who can guide and inspire you.
  4. Develop Effective Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial for taking Initiative. Learn to express your ideas, suggestions, and plans clearly and assertively. Develop active listening skills to understand the needs and expectations of others, enabling collaboration and effective teamwork.
  5. Embrace Risk-Taking: Taking Initiative quite often involves taking calculated risks. Understand that setbacks and failures are part of the learning process. Embrace challenges, step out of your comfort zone, and view obstacles as opportunities for growth and development.


In the rapidly evolving 21st-century landscape, taking Initiative is a vital life skill that empowers individuals to pursue their goals and aspirations proactively. By understanding the significance of Initiative, recognizing its benefits, and adopting practical strategies, individuals can develop this skill and become self-starters. Embracing Initiative enhances problem-solving abilities, increases productivity, and unlocks leadership and entrepreneurial potential. As individuals take charge of their lives and embrace Initiative, they position themselves for success in the dynamic world of the 21st century.


  1. Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087–1101. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.92.6.1087
  2. Grant, A. M., & Ashford, S. J. (2008). The dynamics of proactivity at work. Research in Organizational Behavior, pp. 28, 3–34. doi 10.1016/j.riob.2008.04.002
  3. Zhao, H., Seibert, S. E., & Hills, G. E. (2005). The mediating role of self-efficacy in the development of entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(6), 1265–1272. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.90.6.1265

Note: The references provided are examples of scholarly articles that relate to the topics discussed in the report. It is essential to conduct further research and select relevant academic sources according to the specific requirements of your project.