Being proactive means you take responsibility for your life and make as much positive impact as possible on those parts of your world which you can influence. This is the path to greater success in life.
Being reactive means you blame other people and events for what happens to you. This is the path to greater frustration and negativity.
The reactive person says things like:
\”He makes me so mad.\”
\”The (Democrats/Republicans) are driving me crazy.\”
\”I can\’t do that because she won\’t let me.\”
The proactive person says things like:
\”I am responsible for how I interact with him.\”
\”I choose to support the political candidates whose views align with mine.\”
\”I can do that even though it may be difficult.\”
The power of being proactive was emphasized as the first \”Habit\” of Stephen Covey\’s famous book, \”The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.\” If you have not read it lately, it is one of the most valuable books you can ever read … and read again.
Here are some important ways you can be more proactive – and not reactive – for greater success in life:
- Get clear about what you want out of life by writing down a few key goals.
- Look at your goals list daily (use an app or an index card) and write down plans or steps you can take to achieve them, bit by bit.
- Think before you react to other people or events. Covey points out that between any stimulus that we encounter, and the response we make, is the freedom to choose our course of action. The more you practice this, the stronger you will become.
- Practice daily meditation – simple breathing exercises will do just fine – to strengthen your brain\’s ability to focus and give you more freedom to choose.
- Learn to distinguish what you can control from what you can\’t control. This was one of the main points of leading Stoic thinkers. Covey recommends that you write down all of your concerns and worries in a list labeled \”Circle of Concern.\” Then go through that and identify those items that you can actually influence or control and put them in a \”Circle of Influence.\” The more you focus your energies and efforts on your Circle of Influence, the more effective and successful you can be. In time you can widen your Circle of Influence to include more \”Concerns\” as you develop more self-control and proactivity.
So start now – Be Proactive, Not Reactive – and enjoy greater success in life as a result!