Saturday, June 27, 2009

I think that one of the most important things that I've ever learned is to be proactive. If you are familiar with Steven Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Or his son Sean Covey's book The 7 Habits of highly effective teens, which is more interesting, haha), then you should be familiar with this already. Being proactive is all about the idea that you are in control of your reactions. In the entire universe, you are the only thing that you can completely control. The weather, traffic, your dog and other people are completely out of your control, yet we spend so much time and waste so much energy thinking about them! Bad things happen to everyone and the only difference between people lies in how they deal with them. Think of it this way (this is my favourite analogy): A reactive person is like a can of soda. Shake them up a bit and open them and they'll explode. A proactive person, however is like a bottle of water. You can shake them up as much as you like, but you aren't going to get a reaction out of them. Being reactive is like handing you remote control to somebody else and say "Here, change my mood anytime." You aren't in control anymore. Somebody can say something rude to you and you'll react, just like that. Reactive people are easy to manipulate and control.
Being proactive though, is a lot safer and gives you the power. People can insult you, but you get to decide if you are going to be affected by it or not.
Being proactive is harder at first. What something bad happens, it’s so easy to retort, fight back, explode, give the finger or insult them. What I do, is take a deep breath, and ask myself "Do I want to let this affect me? Am I going to let this wreck my day?" Then I respond diplomatically and let the issue float on by. It’s not a weak thing to do, it’s the opposite. You’re choosing to be in control of your emotions. And it shows strength, big time.

I'm not sure whether that post made sense or not, so comment if it was unclear and I'd be happy to clear anything up!

No, wait, comment whether it made sense or not!

1 comment:

Val said...

Makes sense since being in control of yourself (your response to the surrounding) increases predictability of your environment. I.e. you remove one more unpredictable element - your reaction to external affects.