Reactive vs Proactive
Who are You?
There is nothing I can do….OR….I wonder what an alternative might be
They will not allow that….OR….I wonder what different approach I can take
I must do that….OR….I choose to do this
If only I could….OR…I will
Covey published The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in 1989. This book continues to be a best seller along with several of his other publications. Following 7 Habits in 2000 he published Living the 7 Habits: Applications and Insights. Below is a table summarizing Covey’s principles. Consider how you might apply his “habits” to move yourself from the reactive to the proactive approach to the opening scenarios.
|Be Proactive||Take Initiative|
|Begin with the End in Mind||Consider the Goal|
|Put First Things First||Prioritize|
|Think Win/Win||Consider Both Sides|
|Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood||Communicate (Listen)|
|Sharpen the Saw||Reflect|
Summarizing the above when addressing the options in the opening scenarios Covey is saying “play the ball before it plays you”.
Personal well-being can fit into both categories…
proactive and reactive.
Avoiding a healthy lifestyle focused on integrating wellness and lifelong learning does not consider the long-term goal (Covey’s 2nd principle). We would all agree that daily exercise and a healthy diet has positive benefits for body, mind, and spirit. The key is…are we proactive or reactive to achieve that goal? Personal well-being is an ongoing process which is dynamic and progressive. Optimal well-being relies on your choices (proactive) rather than luck (reactive).
More examples of proactive approach to well-being include:
- Drinking plenty of water help lubricate joints, boosts skin health, aids in accessibility of minerals and nutrients to the body.
- Chiropractic adjustments aid in alignment of the spine for good posture, affects central nervous system, improves joint mobility, improves circulation.
- Viewing wellness (body, mind, and spirit) as part of your planned self-care.
Review the wellness resource to apply Covey’s 7th principle (reflection) to determine if your personal well-being is on track. Consider how you would respond to each question in the following ways:
- What is my status/condition?
- Is this factor important to me and if so, how does it fit into a priority list?
- How can I be more proactive to achieve my wellness goals?
|Borrowing from goal setting strategies take the S.M.A.R.T. approach to design your plan.|
|S||Specific||What is the desired result/outcome?|
|M||Measurable||How to quantify the outcome?|
|A||Attainable||What do I need to achieve the goal?|
|R||Realistic||Is the goal tangible?|
|T||Timely||What is the timeframe for completion/reevaluation?|
In 2004, Covey published The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. The 8th habit is “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.” Through my blog I hope to be a voice to inspire others. I am providing a list of a few blogs I follow. Each blog resonates with my purpose (integrating wellness, lifelong learning, and personal development). I share this list as a resource to build a stronger knowledge base for all of us.
Blogs I follow:
Mission to Learn
The author writes on living fully, well, and wisely
On a mission to unlock human potential
The Well-Lived Life
Live a life you enjoy waking up to
Keep Inspiring Me
Inspiration served with a heavy dose of reality
Think bigger and achieve more
Living an extraordinary, ordinary life
Blooms to Blossoms
Wrapping Up & Looking Forward
“Look at the word responsibility—“response-ability”—the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.”
~ Stephen Covey
Learning to be more proactive about your wellness along with active engagement in your overall well-being is an ongoing lifelong learning process – there are always actions to take. Remember, being proactive in your lifelong wellness is a skill you can develop and train.