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Friday, December 11, 2015

Proactive vs Reactive Lifestyle

Live life on your own terms in conjunction with the people around you. Many people live in a state of constant reaction to all the real as well as perceived demands of the universe around them. The phone is ringing again and I have to answer it. Company is coming over and the dishes aren’t perfect. Why aren’t the pillows in their proper places? The service board at church had a project that nobody took so I had to. Sally wants my opinion for her wedding dress. Ryan wants me come golfing this evening… The list could go on forever, and not all of the things on the list are unimportant, but they probably aren’t the most important things you could be doing.

You’ve probably read my article about priorities. You must have enough self-awareness to understand which types of activities bring you the most joy and satisfaction, which things are the most important over the long term, and how you are going to make them top priority every day. Living a life in the reactionary phase brings endless chaos, frustration and dissatisfaction. Our goals ought to include habits to live a life in the proactive phase so we can live life on our own terms. It doesn't mean we no longer react and respond to other people, or serve and try to accommodate the needs of other people. It means we prioritize tasks and goals. We put the first things first as Steven R Covey says. We spend the majority of our time on important things not just urgent things.

As we spend more time on the things that are truly important to us. We find fewer things become urgent because we are preparing for the coming days and weeks by planning out and giving priority to specific pieces of our lives. People are generally a bit stingy with their money and generously giving of their time, but time is the one resource with which they should be most frugal because time is limited, and if you do not use your time effectively achieving joy you will never have another chance. But there lies the difficulty of choice, because some of the greatest joy comes from serving and connecting with other people. However, it is the type of activity and quality of connection that matter. Do not give of your time to less desired and under appreciated things. Put your whole heart and soul into the best things. The best things generally don’t just pop up out of nowhere. We can foresee many of the coming needs for ourselves and for people around us. We can plan how we want to participate and when.

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