Highly Effective People Are Proactive

Highly Effective People Are Proactive

If you haven’t read “the seven habits of highly effective people” then here’s a small taste that may make you reconsider it. In 1989 Steven Covey published a non-fiction self help book aimed at improving your life by adopting 7 simple habits. The result of which would encourage a shift in thought process to influence change. There are several important stages to becoming an effective person but the first is the best place to start. “be pro-active”, while only a building block in the scheme of revolutionizing the way you live your life, it is the most important. We cannot affect change, if we do not change ourselves.

What is meant by pro-active? “being responsible for our own lives. Our behaviour is a function of our decisions, not our conditions”. There is no physical, emotional, or mental reward for doing nothing. How can you chase your dreams if you don’t have the ambition to walk? It takes courage to step outside of your comfort zone and try something scary to get what you want, but it’s the only way you ever will. Too many people sit in fear, waiting for the perfect job to land in their lap, the perfect weather to motivate them to workout, or the perfect pickup line to make them believe they’ve found the one. While you’re waiting for the right moment, someone else is making it their moment and getting what they want.

The main difference between a proactive person is what they focus on, and the ability differentiate between the circle of concern, and the circle of influence is a major factor. As each titles suggest, the circles represents things we have the power to change (influence) and those we don’t (concerns). For example, war, government, and climate change are concerns which are out of your immediate reach to change. If you spend time working on that which you cannot change, you won’t have time to work on things you can, and your circle of influence will shrink. If you focus on your job, your diet, your circle of friends, self improvement etc, you will find your circle of influence enlarges. The most crucial habit to affect change, is to focus on what Covey refers to as the “be’s” instead of the “have’s“; Learn to say “I can be better, instead of “one day I’ll have better”, the difference is in taking action.

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Cited: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Simon & Schuster 1992