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The Lost Keys to Success and Happiness
The Fourth Key: Initiative and Leadership
by Trenna Pennington


I love life and all the luxuries it has to offer, especially food and wine.  I used to wander from job to job before I was handed a large inheritance in my thirties, now I just freely spend my money as I wish, mostly at the pub with my friends.  That was until I met a man at the courtyard in Canterbury.  He shared with me the fourth key of fifteen.  “The keys used together will unlock your deepest dreams and greatest successes, make your desires reality.” He said “The only stipulation is that you must pass on the key to those you come in contact with.”  Now, I am sharing with you the key that I was given.  This key unlocked in me potential and courage I had never known.  I may have had all the money I needed but I had never worked towards a goal or held a job for long or felt pride in anything I did.

“Initiative is the foundation that success is built upon.” He started,  “There are three different layers of initiative.

The top layer is comprised of the person who does the right thing without being told, the person who “does it NOW”.  This person creates opportunities for themselves when there seems to be no opportunities around.

The middle layer is the person who will do the right thing when necessity kicks them from behind.  This person usually gets indifference instead of honors because they have excuses and hard luck stories to explain their lack of action.

The third and last layer is the person who will not do the right thing even when there is someone to go along to show him how to do it and goes along to show him how to do it and even stays to see that he does it right.  This person is always out of a job and has no friends.

To become a person of initiative you must be aggressive and persistent in following the object of your passion until you acquire it, whether this requires one year or twenty years.  The only way to get happiness is to give it.  The same applies to initiative.  The best way to develop initiative is to teach it to those around you.  If we sow seeds of hatred, envy and discouragement in others, we start to develop these qualities in ourselves, but if we sow seeds of encouragement and initiative we develop those qualities.  For some, money is a strong motivator but for the person who works for money alone they feel empty because there will never be enough money.  No amount of money can take the place of the happiness, joy and pride that belongs to the person who digs a better ditch, sweeps a cleaner floor or cooks a better meal.  Every one of us loves to create something that is better than the average.  The only limitations we have are the ones we set in our mind.

Leadership is acquired by those who take initiative and have a definite purpose in mind.  They have the confidence in themselves and their abilities to achieve their goals and the passion to pursue it.  Leaders need to hold themselves to a strict account-ability.  Leadership is a composite of a number of qualities. Among the most important I would list self-confidence, moral ascendancy, self-sacrifice, paternalism, fairness, initiative, decision, dignity, and courage.  Lead by example.  You must never fly off the handle, remain calm and composed even in the most difficult situations.  Live clean, so that you have sufficient brain power to see right and have the will to do it.  Give praise and respect to those you come in contact with.  Know your team, know your business, know yourself.

Leaders and people with initiative must use co-operation with those they come in contact with.  Co-operation is said to be the most important word in the English language. It is important in all types of relationships; in the relationship of man and wife, parents and children, leaders and team members. The principle of co-operation is so important that no leader can become powerful or last long if he does not understand and apply it in his leadership. Lack of co-operation has destroyed more businesses and families than have all other causes combined.  If you want to succeed in doing something that helps the world you must practice these 3 words.  SERVICE; SACRIFICE; SELF-CONTROL. The power of co-operation is so great that combined with harmonized effort from all the worlds’ churches could stop wars, make schools, streets and neighborhoods safe.  A united front of churches and businesses would end world hunger and homelessness.

The first key was passion. Let it be here emphasized that your passion must be active and not passive. Passion will never be anything else but a mere wish unless you become a person of initiative and aggressively and persistently pursue that aim until it has been fulfilled.

You can get nowhere without persistence, a fact which cannot be too often repeated.

The difference between persistence and lack of it is the same as the difference between wishing for a thing and positively determining to get it.”

I went back to the Inn to reflect on what the man had said and it occurred to me, that I could be a great leader.  I wanted to know the joy of creating something better then the rest.  I wanted people to respect me and help me pursue my passion.  The man lit a spark in me I had never known and to this day I still practice the habit of initiative.  I travel the world to teach others how to be great leaders in their lives.


The Author

The Lost Keys


Trenna Pennington is the CEO of Intrensic Integrated Business Solutions a growing business consulting firm in Canada ( She is also the author of "The World Wide What" a guide for Internet beginners originally published in 2002, as well as the "My life" series of health diaries, and The Whisper PALS series of children's books. Her most recent works are a series of articles dealing with "The Lost Keys to Success and Happiness". She is also the founder and executive director of The Welcome Inn Community Development Society.

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