“People wait. They wait for the elusive day when they’ll finally have enough time (guess what? – you never will), enough education (there’s always more to know), enough money (no matter how much you make, someone will always have more) . . . People wait until that fateful day when they wake up and realize that while they were sitting around paying dues, earning their keep, waiting for that elusive ‘perfect time’ their entire life has passed them by. Unknown Author
Reflection: As you wait to have things happen is life passing you by? The author seems to be saying the best lived life is one of meaningful and purposeful action. Inaction, delaying choices and low risk taking leads to missed opportunities. It is based on the irrational idea that life is not an adventure in discovery or proactive actions but one of acceptance, fate and luck.
Being proactive can help eliminate problems before they appear and can make execution of your tasks more effective and efficient . Being reactive increases chances of mistakes and can to increased stress in your.
- Being proactive lengthens the planning process and can lead to over-planning and procrastination as all potential options are analyzed and re-analyzed. Don’t try to design the perfect plan be satisfied with making small changes and creating a plan that is good enough.
- Leadership theorists such as Steven Covey summarize the need to be proactive by arguing that life is a series of choices and taking responsibility for your actions. In order to have more control in life Covey says “the importance of being proactive is based on choices and a willingness to take risks and act even if you don’t have all the information to know whether your decision will work. It is required for living a self-directed life.Your life doesn’t just “happen.” Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear. Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.
The following quote from Covey’s Seven Habits of Effective People shows the importance and power being proactive
” Habit 1: Be Proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. You can’t keep blaming everything on your parents or grandparents. Proactive people recognize that they are “response-able.” They don’t blame genetics, circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. They know they choose their behavior. Reactive people, on the other hand, are often affected by their physical environment. They find external sources to blame for their behavior. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their attitude and performance, and they blame the weather. All of these external forces act as stimuli that we respond to. Between the stimulus and the response is your greatest power–you have the freedom to choose your response. One of the most important things you choose is what you say. Your language is a good indicator of how you see yourself. A proactive person uses proactive language–I can, I will, I prefer, etc. A reactive person uses reactive language–I can’t, I have to, if only. Reactive people believe they are not responsible for what they say and do–they have no choice.
Self-Coaching Challenge Activity: Instead of reacting to or worrying about conditions over which you have little or no control, how are you going to start being more proactive in your daily life?