The word proactivity is now fairly common in management literature, it’s a word you won’t find in most dictionaries. It means more than merely taking initiative. It means that as human beings, we are responsible of our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.
We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.
Look at the word responsibility – “response-ability” – the ability to choose your response.
Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances or conditions for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than conditions based on feeling.
Reactive people are not free
- Reactive people are often affected by their physical environment. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t it affects their attitude and their performance.
- Reactive people are also affected by their social environment. When people treat them well, they feel well. They build their emotional lives around the behavior of others.
Proactive people are free
- Proactive people carry their own weather with in them. Whether it rains or shines makes no difference to them.
- Proactive people are still influenced by external stimuli, whether physical, social or psychological. But their response is a value driven choice.
No one can hurt you without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt
They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them. Gandhi
You are truly proactive if you can say…
…I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday!
Book to this topic
English: 7 Habits of highly effective people
German: Die 7 Wege zur Effektivität: Prinzipien für persönlichen und beruflichen Erfolg