“There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. We all have a choice. You can decide which type of person you want to be. I have always chosen to be in the first group.”Mary Kay Ash
Ever had one of those days when you wonder “Does life simply happen this way or is it my choice?” The truth is; while you can’t control everything in life, your day-to-day choices and actions ultimately create your life.
What does being proactive mean?
Being proactive means taking responsibility for your life and actions by anticipating problems and providing solutions before they ever happen, rather than just watching how things happen. It means controlling situations by causing things to happen, rather than waiting to respond after things happen. When a person is proactive, they are acting in advance of a future event
The opposite of being proactive is being reactive. Reactive behavior is influenced by the environment and outside forces. Reactive people wait for things to happen before they act or proffer solutions.
Proactive people are constantly moving forward, looking to the future, and making things happen. They’re actively engaged, not passively observing. Being proactive is a way of thinking and acting.
“Look at the word responsibility—“response-ability”—the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.”Stephen Covey
6 Reasons Why You Should Be Proactive In Life
1. Helps you plan for and achieve your long-term goals.
Being proactive can help you create the life and future you desire. Several unexpected situations and events can influence and change the course of your life. However, by being proactive, you can anticipate possible problems and stumbling blocks to your dreams and proffer solutions before they ever happen. Being proactive will also help you plan for and understand your long-term goals because you’re thinking “if this happens, what will I do?” before situations occur.
Proactive people tend to be more relaxed, prepared, and positive due to the precautionary steps that they’ve taken for potential “situations”. They have more control over their future.
Being proactive makes the path forward clearer. Choosing to look ahead allows you to develop a plan for the future. Proactive people have a direction and a plan to get there. Plans can certainly change, but considering the most likely scenarios in advance will increase your chances of being prepared and remaining a step ahead of your competition.
2. Helps you live a more fulfilled and better life.
By being proactive and always thinking ahead, you will be able to learn and understand what’s most important for your success and happiness. You will be able to act positively in vital areas of life like health, security, education, finance, etc.
Living reactively is a recipe for merely surviving. You spend all of your time putting out fires instead of creating a better life. Proactivity allows the space and the luxury to create something beyond that which you already have.
You take charge of yourself. You get to know who you are; your values, beliefs, and the purpose you wish to pursue. Furthermore, you don’t just get carried away by every influence, rather you focus on the important things that will bring you the most joy and success. It helps with your self-improvement and awareness.
3. Be more prepared for situations.
Proactivity is a way of defusing potential challenges before they become problems. By being proactive, you can detect and defuse or manage potential challenges before they get out of hand.
4. Gives room for flexibility.
By thinking about the “what ifs” early, you will be able to choose the best option or decision rather than being forced to do something at the last minute which may very well be your only option.
Proactivity allows you to develop more elegant solutions. When you wait until the last minute, most of the possible solutions evaporate. You don’t have the time or the resources to entertain all the possible solutions. You’re forced to patch together whatever will work in the heat of the moment.
5. Fosters creativity and change.
Being proactive makes you willing to step out of your comfort zone to make things work, since you see the big picture.
Being reactive usually forces you to take situations as they are and to fix them with minimal time and resources. You’ll also make decisions without sufficient understanding of the facts and circumstances, which might result in the potential for more problems.
Reactive people are usually unorganized, unprepared, and frantic since they usually haven’t considered the possibility of unexpected “situations” and the implications they have on their well-being.
6. You get peace of mind.
When you’re proactive, you take responsibility for your life and believe that your ability to choose your actions matters. By waiting until there’s an issue before acting, you simply react to life instead of designing it.
By being proactive, you become happy with where you are and where you’re going because you have an idea of what is coming. It’s easier to sleep at night when you have a plan for the morning. You have greater peace of mind and live your life with less anxiety. You already know what’s going to happen, and you’re prepared for it.
There are many more benefits to exercising proactivity each day. Proactive people have control over their lives. Challenges can be nullified before they become full-blown issues. It’s a more enjoyable and effective way to live.
Spend a few minutes each evening looking ahead for a day, a week, a month, a year, and five years.
What does the future hold? How can you maximize your opportunities and minimize your potential challenges?