When I think about being proactive, I think of the quote, “Act or be acted upon.” That phrase illustrates the importance of being proactive. Do you want to control your life, or are you okay with other people calling the shots?

Being proactive, means taking a few minutes to think critically about your actions each day, making a plan, a backup plan (just in case).


People who are proactive don’t sit around waiting for answers to appear; they stand up, put one foot in front of the other, and find the answers.

Let me tell you a story . . . once upon a time (all good stories start this way!) there was an enchanting woman named “Sally”.   Sally wakes up in every morning when her alarm clock sounds. This morning gets out of bed to realize that she didn’t do her laundry the night before.

Now she doesn’t have a clean shirt for work.

So she tosses a small load in and hopes to get it done before she leaves for work.

As Sally heads into the kitchen she remembers that she never got to the store this week, so now she has to try and leave a few minutes early so she can grab a bite to eat before work.

Now she definitely doesn’t have time to wait for the washer so she puts on a dirty shirt and rushes out the door.

Sally was so flustered by the fact that nothing was going her way this morning and, in her rush to get out the door, she forgot the important paperwork for her presentation at work.

Whew – feeling a little stressed just reading about Sally’s morning?
Sally is living her life in a reactive way. She always feels rushed, always feels like there is never enough time in the day. Sally doesn’t have control over schedule and her day.  Her day has control over her!

[Tweet “Who is in control of your day?”]

Now, please don’t get me wrong.  Contrary to this story, being reactive is not all “bad”.  I’m a believer that every personality trait has a “flip side”.  Sally is probably flexible and flexibility in the face of challenges can be a real strength.  However, taking a few proactive steps each day can increase your productivity and take much of the stress out of your day-to-day life.
An article written by motivational speaker, Craig Harper in 2007 explains it like this:

“Reactive is, ‘I’ve got massive chest pain and pins and needles down my arm. Maybe I’ll go to the doctor.’ Proactive is, ‘Even though I have no symptoms, I want to live a long, healthy life so I have embraced the life-long habits of healthy eating and regular exercise.’”

You can be proactive and take control of your life.  Check back tomorrow and I’ll explain 3 simple steps to help move you from  reactive to proactive action.  (For the next post – click HERE!)

In the meantime – post below.  What tips do you have for being proactive?