In Stephen R. Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he explains the two different kinds of people: proactive and reactive people.

Reactive people are those whose environment(physical/social), feelings(emotions), conditions, and circumstances empower their actions.

Proactive people are value-based, and they are aware that their behavior is a product of their own choice. Even though outside conditions can still influence them, they make value-based choices. In essence they accept responsibility for their own life.

For example, many times reactive people render love a feeling, and thus their actions are made in response to that feeling. Proactive people make love a verb, rendering it something you do; it becomes a value that is shown through loving actions.

Mahatma Gandhi is probably one of the most well-known proactive people. Through his nonviolent philosophy he has inspired millions of people worldwide. Gandhi said, “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do,” meaning you have to change before you can see anything else begin to change.

To become a proactive person you first have to change from the inside out. Effect positive change by simply being more; I can be bettering my attitude, I can be kinder, wiser…etc.

While I am a product of my environment, I also have an independent will. Even though I am constantly bombarded with people and things that may influence me, ultimately I have the power to CHOOSE. The most valuable endowment we have that separates us from other animals is the fact that we have self-awareness. We can make our own choices.

We can choose to be happy in our current state, while focusing our efforts on what we can change.

17 thoughts on “Be Proactive

  1. Outstanding. It wasn’t until I discovered my personal power and became proactive in life and became who I wanted to be that saw me survive and conquer the streets. Now I advocate for the homeless and pastor. Again, fantastic writing!

  2. sjway63 says:

    Even when life does just happen – not of our making or choosing – we have a choice to either live in misery or find acceptance and happiness in our situation. Love the post!

  3. I think this is very true. We all have the power of choice but I think that the weight of fear sometimes makes us feel like we are stuck and powerless. We all have such a lot to learn. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. I thought on this subject of your text. I came up with some of my own thoughts. I though that in the brain there are nerve ends I think they call such synapses. And in regard to these nerve ends I think of transmitters and receivers. In life we as humans in our make up we both transmit and receive. But like anything in this world one tends to be more one side than the other. Like with our hands we have both hands to use but we are right handed or left handed. As humans we are either extrovert or introvert. So extro Is more transmitting and intro is more receiving. Intros might listen more than speaking. The extros are more out going and speak more,

    I am trying to say that transmitters and receivers are akin to who we are. And we lean one way more than the other. So in life we have polar spectrums in many of life’s activities. And the polar starts with God (good) and Satan (evil).

  6. Inese Poga Art Gallery says:

    Completely agree up to the point when something sudden, unexpected and terrible happens leaving us without any choices. It happened that way in my life and I have to live with the sequences of the accident. In other circumstances, we can normally go with the flow or create the opportunity to withstand the flow and make up our own path. Theory is a great thing, but sometimes real life doesn’t want us to be categorized since many issues can cause very active person to become depressed, upset and ignoring everything. Plenty has been said about the choice we always have, and we genuinely do in most cases, but I believe also in accidental boosts from our destiny, probably they happen because we created some connections with the correct energies long time ago, yet, happy accidents take place, too.

  7. Donna says:

    I really liked your post and believe we do decide how we do things but I have to say that sometime as I like to say “Life happened” it doesn’t mean choices weren’t made and hopefully good ones it just means we don’t always control what happens but we do control how we choose to deal with what happens. Just my thought.

  8. dhomebody says:

    Even better is the follow-up to 7 Habits, First Things First, which he co-wrote with Roger and Rebecca Merrill. I highly recommend it, especially to Christians. It isn’t a “Christian” book, but the philosophy is compatible.

  9. TJ says:

    Beautiful post! i think that i definitely need to start being more proactive in my life. i’ve read 7 Habits and it’s really inspiring, isn’t it? my problem is sometimes i forget the principles and revert back to old patterns. how do you keep up the good stuff and not slide back into old behaviors? ~The TJ Blog

  10. Roxie says:

    Reblogged this on Out my back door and commented:
    This has struck me as very profound and I just had to repost. I think this is something more people should grasp. Thanks for being proactive.

  11. Roxie says:

    That was fantastic……wish I had written it. I could not have said it any better. I just wish more people knew that and believed it. Thank you. A+

  12. Thank you for sharing this. It is always good to have a reminder that we do have choice, why use energy complaining when you can actually do something positive to improve the situation you are complaining about.

  13. Reblogged this on randomravingsfromcornwall and commented:

  14. Beautifully written. Definitely the change from within we should all strive to achieve.

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  16. Kurt Struble says:

    sometimes i think that there’s a ‘tipping point’
    within people whereby through making good
    decisions there’s enough awareness gathered that, the
    light starts to shine … dimly at first of course but then, over
    time as awareness continues to grow so too does the
    light … so there;s an almost symbiosis going on between
    choice, awareness, light … then, light creates more
    awareness … and the circle continues …

    it’s like love between
    two people in a relationship … love is given, love is returned …
    one love feeds the other love feeds the other love and as the love
    feeds two people start to share one awareness … one light
    source … so love … especially true love is ‘light doubly amplified’

    in the first example it’s like …

    you climb a hill and it’s hard and
    this corresponds to the learning
    phase we all must go through … be patient, learn …
    the light will come ,… stop seeking it … be strong, seek
    awareness … look outside yourself … keep climbing …. don’t look at the
    crest … then you become ‘fixated’ .. just climb knowing you are getting
    stronger and stronger gathering more awareness
    all the time … (this is hard so hard to do! getting out of your
    self ! one good way … meditate ghandi did … !)

    … when the time comes and
    you are strong the climb begins to be easy …
    you turn around you run and as you
    run … but guess what … YOU DON’T KEEP RUNNING FASTER AND
    FASTER …. YOU’D STUMBLE AND FALL IF YOU DID !!… guess what ….. ?

    YOU TAKE FLIGHT … !! ahhhh … freedom …

    be patient .. learn … stop this ‘looking” just be … meditate … stop the
    chattter … somehow when you stop searching and
    live right
    the light will find you or you find each other at the same time ….

    . i hate to say this because i see it so often ….
    stop talking about it directly so much …
    incorporate it INTO stories and poems … write stories
    that contain light not constant reference ABOUT light …. oh !.,… sorry … ks

    we’re all on the journey … and even after you find you can
    fly … you have to land every once in a while …. take care … ks

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