Being proactive instead of reactive will help you be more successful. Merriam Webster defines proactive as controlling a situation by making things happen or by preparing for future problems. It's certainly better to be in control of a situation and be prepared for future problems. So how do we be more proactive?


In Stephen Covey's  best-selling book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective people, the first habit is being proactive. It's having a can do attitude. Here are some of the things he said. "The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it." "People that end up with the good jobs are the proactive ones who are solutions to problems, not problems themselves, who seize the initiative to do whatever is necessary, consistent with correct principles, to get the job done."  "Everyone must be proactive and do all they can to help themselves to stay employed." If you don't keep your job, what have you got? In Tom Rath's best-selling book Strength Finders 2.0, The second talent theme is activator. People strong in the activator theme make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient. Proactive people act in advance of a future situation, rather than just reacting. It involves taking control and making things happen rather than just adjusting to a situation or waiting for something to happen.


Dr. Viktor Frankl described a proactive person as one who took responsibility for his life, rather than looking for causes in outside circumstances or other people. Frankl stressed the importance of courage, perseverance, individual responsibility and awareness of the existence of choices, regardless of the situation or context. Michael J. Fox said "I like to encourage people to realize that any action is a good action if it's proactive and there is positive intent behind it.” As Nike's slogan says "Just Do It." Robin S. Sharma said "A leadership culture is one where everyone thinks like an owner, a CEO or a managing director. It's one where everyone is entrepreneurial and proactive." Gary Hamel said "To escape the curse of commoditization, a company has to be a game changer, and that requires employees who are proactive, inventive and zealous."Create a leadership culture in your business that fosters creativity in your employees. 


Mehmet Oz said "You need to be proactive, carve out time in your schedule, and take responsibility for being the healthiest person you can be; no one else is going to do it for you." You need to take of yourself.  If you don't have your health, what have you got? Suze Orman said "Recast your current problems into proactive goals." Set goals instead of just reacting to problems. Constance Chuks Friday said "Make hay all the time, not only while the sun shines." You'll be more prepared for rainy days. Roger G. Ingersoll said "The hands that help are far better than lips that pray." Pope Francis said to pray for the hungry then feed them. A passerby said to St. Francis that he must of prayed a lot to have such a beautiful garden. He said he prayed a lot though every time he prayed he reached for the hoe. Praying helps though action gets things done. Abraham Lincoln said "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be." Cameron Taylor said "Happiness is a choice. Happiness does not depend on outward conditions but on inward decisions." She also said "We have within us the power to choose how we respond to a hurtful situation. We cannot control the actions of others, but we can control how we respond. as we understand our power to choose, we see that we are in control. Our life is not a result of our environment or upbringing, but a result of our choices. We have the ability to determine the kind of life we want to live and the type of person we wish to be." Choose your attitude. Steve Shallenberger said "Remember, action today can prevent a crisis tomorrow." Innocent Mwatsikesimbe said "So each time a person decides to wait for the time to change things, he is actually waiting for other people to change his fortunes." Richard Norton said "You can overcome your circumstances or you can let your circumstances overcome you." Control your own destiny.


Proactive companies place more emphasis on forward-thinking strategic planning as opposed to reactive strategies to deal with problems or approach opportunities as they arise. Strategic planning includes setting operational objectives, making long-term strategic decisions and doing a SWOT analysis, assessing the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Proactive companies make projections to plan for potential problems, market evolutions and trends and consumer expectations before they develop. This gives them greater ability to implement systems, infrastructure and employees to address these issues and opportunities as they arise.


So now you how to be more proactive. Are you more proactive or reactive? Being proactive controls your own destiny, prepares you more for inevitable problems and helps you be more successful. Let me know if I can help. Here's to your success.


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