Proactiveness: Making Things Happen Vs. Letting Things Happen

The ability to control your own effectiveness is life-changing — but proactiveness always proceeds effectiveness.

Many people, however, are stuck in “reactive mode.” Reactive people believe that their life is simply happening to them rather than something they are powerfully designing. For example, they’ll often say things like: 

  • “There’s nothing I can do.”
  • “I can’t change that.”
  • “I don’t have the time”

Whereas, the prefix ‘pro’ quite literally means ‘before.’ Meaning that proactive people act ahead of time. They don’t wait and see what happens. Their actions aren’t determined by other people’s values or schedules.  

Instead, they simply decide what they want and then go and do it. They’re goal-focused. If you were to ask them why they’re doing something, they’d specifically be able to tell you. 

Meanwhile, reactive people just drift from one thing to the next. Their evolution is not deliberate and intentional, but rather, random and unconscious.

They don’t live on their own terms, but rather, other peoples. Hence, Brian Tracy has a saying: “Those who don’t set goals for themselves are forever doomed to work to achieve the goals of others.”

Denis Waitley has similarly said, “Winners make things happen whereas losers just let things happen.”

Here are a few simple ways to be more proactive in life:  

  1. Have quarterly, weekly and daily goals. 
  2. Plan and prepare before things happen.
  3. Take control of your habits, actions and reactions.
  4. Create and control your environment before it creates and controls you.