Be Proactive

Recently, I have been reading the well-known The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I’ve known this book since forever, but I never found the title to be very interesting. I thought it would just be another self-motivation book with a lot of impractical theories. A good old friend of mine introduced me this book while I was complaining to her. She succeeded to convince me that the book was really worth to read. So I bought the book. She was right.

I’ll just write about the first habit here, which is Be Proactive.

“Be Proactive” was probably one of the advice that I hated most when I was younger, or even up until now. “Be proactive” is generally defined as nagging, such as nagging our teachers to give us more home works, nagging our bosses to give us more works, nagging the shop assistants to give us more discounts and free items, or nagging people to give way to us because we are more important and special than the rest of the human on this planet. There is simply no place for soft-spoken people (like me?) in this world.

Thank God the book has a different definition of being proactive. Being proactive is not nagging, being bossy or pushy. Being proactive is to take full responsibility of our own lives. Being proactive means taking action based on life values that we believe in.

Be proactive, not reactive.

A simple example is to take care of our own health. We can choose to be proactive to watch out what we eat and do regular exercise before our body shows any signs of breaking down. Or, we can choose to be reactive, such as eating junk food everyday and being lazy to do exercise and only to react after our body shows any signs of breaking down.

After reading the chapter about this habit, I have some personal life reflection. For most of us (at least for me), since we were little until we graduate from university, we were reactive. We didn’t really have much choices to be proactive. The road was already there for us to walk on. Kindergarten, Elementary, Junior High School, High School, and University. It is only after we graduate from university, we have the choice to be proactive about our lives. We can choose to have a permanent job at corporate setting, start our own business, continue further studies, or follow our dreams whatever they are. We can make our own destiny.

If there is something we want to change, then be proactive. Don’t wait for the world to change for us because it won’t. It doesn’t always have to be a huge big risky step, but we can start by taking one step at a time. We can try new things and change our perspectives. Have courage to start what needs to be done.

What really brought me to log in to my blog today is actually because I am overly excited now. I am going to meet my role-model in about two weeks time! It wouldn’t have been possible if I haven’t had been proactive, didn’t stalk follow her updates actively and didn’t have the courage to ask her about her visit here personally.. My another dream comes true and more to come 🙂


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