Proactivity – Become A Creator of Your Life
25th December, a beautiful December morning full of joy and excitement of the Christmas atmosphere. I was sitting down under my desk light immersed in my daily morning reading (I am reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People now) when I have stumbled upon a very powerful thought concept. A concept that has, even after so many books and learning lessons, managed to move my thought-process one more step further on the path of my personal development. The concept of proactivity and reactivity. I thought to myself if I could take the right stand in most of the situations I experience, how much I could change. Not in the world around me, but within myself.
To understand this profound idea, I had to get back to the basics. I needed to remind myself of the fundamental fact that everything I see is a reflection of the lenses I choose to look through. The way I perceive the world around me, also referred to as a thought paradigm, has an immense influence on how I will choose to respond to the environment around. I thought to myself: “imagine how much more you could see if you took every situation with a truly open mind, how much you could understand if you looked at every situation from more than only your perspective.”
This is an extremely profound thought. You might be thinking now – but Frank, we all know that we should take a different point of view to understand a situation holistically. Yes, that is right. My question is then, how many of you have actually done that? When you argued with your parents or your partner a few days ago, left the room angry without any conclusion. Have you really tried to think from their perspective?
Learn to Switch Thought Paradigms
This is what struck me, there is no correct or incorrect argument. There is only a difference in thought-paradigms. You are not mistaken, neither are you correct. You simply see things from your point of view. How much understanding of others could you develop if you could see things through their thought paradigms?
This brought me to another thought. To go and enter different thought paradigms, I ultimately have to become a firmly proactive person. I need to take the initiative and see situations from different perspectives, always. It has to become my habit. It has to be a part of me, something I do every day.
What is the opposite of proactivity? It is reactivity. If you simply choose to react to situations that take place in your life, you are giving up the opportunity of influencing your behaviour. You become a reflection of your environment. You don’t look for understanding, you look for blame. You look for anger and you look for arguments. You look for lack of control, you look for the feeling of incapability. You become a victim and that is a problem.
Don’t play the victim. We have gone through a tough year. But if you stop and look at it from a different perspective, you proactively switch your thought-paradigm, you will see a year full of opportunities for growth, development and progress.
Develop the habit of proactivity, look for understanding and look for influence instead of empty concern.
Frank from The Real Life Education Team