While there are many different mindsets that we would all be wise to cultivate, one stands out above the others. Without this mindset, the other ones aren’t so helpful and probably wouldn’t be adopted in the first place. It’s the birthplace of grit. It's what inspires resourcefulness. It’s the mindset that puts you in charge of your life, your mind, and your actions.
I am talking about the Proactive Mindset. The concept of proactivity was popularized by "Stephen Covey" in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". Being proactive is the very first habit.
As opposed to being proactive, being reactive means just waiting for things to happen to you; circumstances dictate your actions instead of your actions dictating the circumstances.
There is a stimulus and there is a response. In between, there is your freedom to choose what your reaction will be. Will it be proactive or reactive?
Here is the list of the most important skills you need to acquire to be proactive:
1. Plan ahead: proactive people are aware of how they spend their time and use that knowledge to plan the future and be prepared.
2. Set goals: In that way, you create your future. Set SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
3. Think big picture: It's important to consider your ultimate goals. There will always be little things to worry about, but don't get so lost in the minutia that you lose track of what you are really trying to accomplish.
4. Prioritize: Not all goals and tasks are equally important and you shouldn’t treat them as they are – that leads to burnout. Focus on what you can control.
5. Learn to problem-solve: Proactive people focus on how to solve the problem instead of panicking (panicking for a couple of minutes and then solving the problem is fine too! )
7. Take action: Contrary to popular belief, good things don’t come to those who wait, but to those who take the initiative and work for what they want and make things happen.
To sum up, being proactive is the belief that engaging with the world is both possible and worthwhile. It's knowing that you have the power to help yourself by reflecting, making creative choices, and constructing a meaningful life.