Stop Waiting For Nothing

Written by Paul on May 21st, 2008

This is the fifth in a series of posts about the lessons I wish I’d learned earlier in life.

A few days ago, I got an email from one of my readers who was looking for some brainstorming help with her personal brand. Before I could even read it, I noticed that nearly every sentence started with “If only…

Here’s the thing people, successful people create their own opportunities and direct the flow of their own lives. Instead of reacting to events and waiting for opportunities, you go out and create your own.

Go

Brian Tracy puts it best:

Those who don’t set goals for themselves are forever doomed to work to achieve the goals of others.

Make the decision to start consciously directing your own life instead of being pushed along by external things.

Be Proactive. Not reactive.

A recent conversation with my friend Ramit got me thinking about the differences between the two types of people.

  • Proactive people:
    • Take conscious control over their own life, set goals and work to achieve them.
    • Are aware of their core values and consciously make decisions based on them. Even when things are pretty good, they’re still making conscious choices.
    • Often start new projects or activities “out of the blue” when it seems like there’s no externally motivated reason to do so.
    • Pay attention to external events, but focus on getting themselves to their desired destination regardless of those events. This is the most important thing!
  • Reactive people:
    • Tend to stay at the same job year after year as long as it’s semi-satisfying. Unless opportunities get dropped in their lap, they won’t do much else
    • Their lives are largely out of their direct conscious control; they tend to only exert their efforts when they absolutely must, like when they get laid off unexpectedly (and even then it’s often to a minimal degree).
    • When things are pretty good, life is mostly on autopilot. When things are bad, these people are the first to start complaining.

Tip: “Be Proactive” is habit #1 from Steve Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. You should read it.

Focus on getting becoming proactive today – starting right now. If you need some extra help getting started, email me – I’ll brainstorm some ideas with you.

Image Credit: James Cridland

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