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Leading a Proactive Life

Something that makes us uniquely human is our ability to think and choose. Between an environmental stimulus and our response, we possess the freedom to choose our response, something that is based on morals and principles rather than genetic or environmental influences. This freedom to choose is a powerful asset and forms the basis of proactivity. Simply put, proactivity means that we must take the initiative and take responsibility for our own lives. Highly proactive people don’t blame their circumstances or conditions for their behavior; they behave according to values rather than feelings.

However, although we are proactive by nature, if we live lives based on feelings, we have become reactive. Reactive people are driven by their feelings, circumstances, and the environment, and are strongly influenced by their social environment. When people treat them well, they feel well; when people don’t, they become defensive. On the other hand, proactive people are driven by values and logical thinking.

Things can hurt us physically or economically, but our character don’t have to be hurt. What dictates how an action affects us is our response to it; what matter most is how we respond to our experiences in life. Being proactive means that we have to take the initiative, giving us the power to create circumstances instead of responding to them. This doesn’t mean that we should be pushy or obnoxious, simply being responsible and making things happen.

If I want to improve my situation, whether it be my relationship with my parents or my grades, the most important thing I can work on is myself, the one thing I have control over with. Instead focusing on the weaknesses of my teachers or my parents, I can work to improve my own weaknesses first. I could ask my teachers for help or try to empathize with my parents. By leading a proactive lifestyle and exercising initiative, you are sure to find yourself living a more effective life.

About Eric Guo

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