Be Proactive, not Reactive; Change Your Life.

Vitals Signs - Be Proactive Not ReactiveWouldn’t you rather be ahead of the game, instead of trying to catch-up?

Sure, there are times when emergencies and the sneak attacks of life happen, but most times, there are ways to be prepared. Like being prepared for your speaking success, having someone call you to book a gig, rather than you having to pound the pavement.

Have you ever stepped back to watch an emergency unfold? We are all hustling about, with no time for anything, and many things put to the back burner.  “I’ll get to that book someday, I’ll update my resume someday, I’ll get that oil change someday.” Then what happens? We’ve all been there.

All of a sudden – we make way to handle the emergency and associated stress and additional problems and……

Whatever you want to call it: procrastination, priorities, demands of life, we all forgo ‘things’ of ‘lesser’ importance. We get into the habit of becoming reactive to the things life throws at us, instead of being proactive, making way for better things to come our way – as if we are setting the stage.  I don’t know about you, but that’s what I’d prefer.

I learned the value of this lesson at the hospital these past two weeks, watching over 60 (60! want to know were our health dollars are going? I got to see it – a whole other story) different doctors, nurses, residents and assistants attend to different health stability surprises crop up whenever a new treatment was applied to my mother. I had the ‘gift’ of sitting back and observing. My mother has a rare disease, along the lines of auto-immune and vascular, which always seems to trigger the unexpected. But – if you are the same person watching and / or treating this disease, you can see the patterns and tell tale signs.  Unfortunately, with over 60 people treating all that came up, no one wanted (or was able) to be proactive and look at all the puzzle pieces and understand the disease first before attempting a new treatment.

Do you let your life, your health, and / or speaking career just unfold, randomly attending a class, going to an occasional networking event, and waiting to start your book or blog or website, looking start your social media or online efforts someday? Why not put forth some effort now, and direct your life. As if you were the director of your own movie, and you were the leading actor/actress in it?

Look at your priorities. What’s the focus?  Have you identified goals and objectives to set the direction or are things happening haphazardly like the feather in Forrest Gump?

Understand your focus. Are you making personal investment activities a priorities and are you moving forward a little bit every day in the direction of your goals and objectives? YOU ARE WORTH THE INVESTMENT, and everything you do when you make investing in yourself a priority, sets other things in motion.

Just like a car, like your health, it’s the proactive activities you undertake (those preventive maintenance type activities) that prepare you for the future, drive your success rate, and ward off other emergencies.

Commit to developing your speaking, authoring, expert strategy. I mean really commit, and really develop. Work on that triple threat strategy.

Identify your goals and objectives. Create milestones.

Identify the steps necessary to get you to those goals. Carve out time every day to move you forward in that direction so you are prepared for your eventual success.

One last thing about being Proactive. Deep down, many of us don’t feel that we are worth the effort or investment.  Somewhere within in us we do know that we want it, or we wouldn’t have chosen Toastmasters to learn the skills and confidence to move forward, but we don’t feel we are worth it. When you tackle that now, deem that you are worth it, and make progress everyday in that direction, you have now exponentialized your success without even knowing it. You have set many things in motion! Get ready for the success.

Use this 100 ways worksheet to help you brainstorm all the ways you can be Proactive today – because you are worth it!  If you need an affirmation to say to yourself everyday, try this one from “Hungry For Change (the movie):  “I accept myself unconditionally, right now.”

Take control of your life, and your success, by becoming more Proactive today.  You will set a positive chain of events in motion. Aren’t you worth that? Isn’t it about time?

Be Proactive, not Reactive. Change your Life.


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  1. Lost at the Intersection of Reality & Misperception – Rae-Ann RuszkowskiMixing up the world of on-line, off-line, oh - just the world in general. - April 7, 2013

    […] planted to yield results, and bubbles are popped and let go. More on this model later, but being proactive rather than reactive is the goal (this is a post I wrote for the OCSpeakers […]