What does being Proactive mean?

"Don't be lazy, be proactive, don't waste your time" mom just told me. I know I have to be proactive in my life i.e. rather letting things control me, I have to make them happen for me. But don't we all want to be proactive but still we get lazy at some point of time and just let things happen their way. Today, an hour after my mom's "Be Proactive" dialogue, I have decided just to write about BEING PROACTIVE and what does being proactive mean?

What is a proactive lifestyle?

Usually all of us react to things after they happen, for e.g. after we find ourselves out of a job, we start searching for another. This sort of attitude towards life is called reactive; where we are just reacting to the stimulus; whereas the one who starts searching for job when he sees signs of getting a 'pink slip', and probably has the next job waiting before the D-day, is said to have been living a proactive life.
Now, why don't all of us live a proactive lifestyle? Some may say its laziness, others may say is our laid back attitude, but I feel it’s our tendency to copy others rather than taking the initiative ourselves. We don't like to change and keep going through the routine life day-in and day-out, thus we don't even keep a back-up for our job until the very last moment; which we do only if our colleague has started his search. We keep on going with the 'flow'.
Proactive people, on the other hand, direct the 'flow', they are not afraid of change; instead they are the drivers of the Change. They are not afraid to take risks, neither in good nor in bad times. They are usually the people who innovate, who take the untrodden path and are willing to work hard to achieve their goals. They don't compromise their dreams for easier alternatives, rather they are willing to walk that extra mile in order to fulfill them. Pro-activism is one of the basic things that one should have in order to be an entrepreneur. An out of the box thinking can be expected from a proactive person rather than a reactive person.

Are you Pro-active ?

Well my mom says I am the laziest person around, in fact if she has her way she won’t even put me into reactive category. So here I have put down some statements which might just help you understand in which category you fall.

  • Do you follow a rule book to get out of tough situation or you experiment your way through?
  • Do you often complain that a day has only 24 hrs. or you are able to do everything, you intend to, in these 24 hrs.?
  • Do you try to be diplomatic every time or you are not afraid to take sides?
  • Have you accepted your weaknesses or are you working to overcome them?
  • Do you wait for holidays to do some work or you don't need to wait for the holidays to do that work?
I think you might have guessed by now what a reactive person's answer to these questions would be, and also what it takes to become proactive. Proactive persons are not affected by external forces and don't let anything come between their path towards goal. They also face difficult situations and rather than bowing before them, they work around the situation and re-adjust the small-term targets, without changing the long-term goals. They are not affected if time taken to achieve them is longer because they don't even let time control them.

At last let me share with you mom's mantra for proactivity "Come out of your comfort zone, Challenge what is possible"..

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