Are you a self-starter?

Self-starters are made, not born.

Richard G. Ensman, Jr., is a syndicated columnist and writes from Rochester, New York.

Just for a moment think about the "human dynamos" you know. Those who exhibit unflagging energy. Those who possess a creative flair for mobilizing others toward a common goal. Those who have an uncanny ability to make things happen in their personal and professional lives. These are the self-starters, who seem to make the world go round.

Self-starters have no special genetic makeup that gives them their energy and flair. They are made, not born. They had to learn the traits and skills needed to accomplish great things.

How many self-starter traits do you understand and have right now? To find out, take the brief "self-starter quiz" on the next page. Consider how much each statement describes you and your behavior and then score your self, 2 for statements that strongly rep resent you and your behavior, 1 for those that represent your behavior some of the time, and 0 for those that generally do not represent you.

Now, take the quiz (see page 25). Add your scores. If you scored be tween 45 and 60, you've done well. In all probability, you understand what it takes to be a true self-starter, and you' re probably practicing those traits right now. If you have a score over 45 and don't feel confident about self-starting abilities, you' re probably not aware of the many things you've learned about initiative and success-oriented behavior in years gone by; you do, however, have a genuine ability to make positive things happen around you.

If you scored between 30 and 44, you're on your way! Use the traits identified in this quiz as a guide to future reflection and action. Try to internalize these principles, and you'll gradually find yourself practicing them in your daily life.

If you scored below 30, don't despair! Spend time with successful people around you. Watch the actions of people who seem to have an uncanny ability to make things happen, whoever they are, whatever positions they hold. Try to model your behavior after theirs. Read up on the ingredients of professional success. Try to make your personal and professional attitude just a bit more positive each and every day. Then in six months take this brief quiz again; you may find yourself inching forward on the road to success.

And as the months and years pass, continue traveling that road. With determination, practice, and enthusiasm, you'll find in time that you are nearing your objective. You may find, in fact, that your journey is just as vibrant as the sparkling qualities you exhibit as a self-starter each day.

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Richard G. Ensman, Jr., is a syndicated columnist and writes from Rochester, New York.

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