“I do not see myself as a product of my environment. I see my environment as a product of me.” – From the film “The Departed”
Do you take charge of your life or leave it to others to pick up the slack for you? Are you the person your friends go to for help or are you the person that goes to your friends for help all of the time? Are you a proactive person? Or are you a reactive person? For your sake I hope you are the former not the latter. However, if I were a gambling man, I would say that you most likely are a reactive person. Do not feel too bad as most people are brought up to live reactive lifestyles. The few people that take the time to learn the game of life become proactive and live lives that attract the envy of the reactive population.
If you have ever been fired from a job without a contingency plan than you live life reactively. If you have ever gotten overweight with out noticing it until you are fat, then you live life reactively. If you wonder where the money goes every month and find yourself in debt even with a good job and salary, you my friend are living life reactively. By now you realize that living life reactively is not very appealing. People that live life reactively are victims of their erroneous actions. Since they are not empowered and proactive about life, they have to react to whatever comes their way. Not a great way to live.
Now lets talk about the proactive population. People that are proactive live life prepared. They do not stress over what may happen as they already know what they will do if things do happen. What things? Whatever things may come. For example, proactive people never get fired without seeing the signs of an upcoming termination. Once they see the signs they start preparing for the next move. They either get another job before they get fired and move on or they take the unemployment benefits after getting fired and then evaluate opportunities to get into. Moreover, proactive people generally have more than one source of income. If one is taken away, the outer incomes are ramped up to save the day. Just as the human body has more than one source of testosterone, proactive people have more than one source of income. Do you have more than one source of income? Do you have enough in savings to live off of for at least three months? How about one month? Very important questions that generally result in very scary answers from far too many people.
Another great thing about proactive people is they make the best of any situation while reactive people hope things will work out on their own. How often do things get better by themselves? Not very often if ever. If you want things to get better you have to get better and be proactive. Otherwise, join the other miserable reactive people out there. Take charge of your life and stop blaming everyone else for your problems. Get over it and be accountable to yourself.
Health is another important area that proactive people take charge of. Proactive people generally do not let themselves get weak and overweight. They exercise regularly, eat well most of the time, and practice stress reduction techniques such as meditation, bodywork, tai chi, chi-king, and walking. Proactive people may let themselves go from time to time when life gets hectic and free time is sparse. They realize that gaining a few pounds of fat or missing a few workouts is not the end of the world. However, they do make time during various periods of the year to dedicate fully to getting back into great shape. Reactive people, gain ten pounds of fat every year and then five years down the road they wonder what the hell happened. They never have back-up plans and do not dedicate time to health and vitality. They have more important things to do such as engaging in gossip and watching four hours of television every evening and eight hours per day on the weekend.
Lets end with one more example that most people can relate to: financial health. Having a surplus of money is similar to having a surplus of healthy muscle. Healthy muscle keeps you strong and healthy just as having a surplus of money is there for you when you need it. Being in debt is similar to being overweight or simply unhealthy (you can very easily be thin and unhealthy as well). Just as you eventually have to take responsibility for being in debt you eventually have to take responsibility for being unhealthy as well. The longer you wait the worse it gets. Proactive people of course save far more than they make and live way below their means. They take calculated risks wherever necessary to improve their lives, but never blow money frivolously. They think that the notion that you can always make more money but you cannot get more time is flawed. They realize that all of the time in the world will not necessarily make up for a financial disaster. Moreover, being smart with money will free up time. The more money you save the more time off you can take off. If you live month to month, you will never be able to take any time off. Money can equal freedom. Do not have any illusions about that.
Money equals opportunities. Having access to money may very well save your life or the lives of those you love. Imagine not having money to pay for an operation that your significant other needs? You should never allow for that situation to occur. You need to be better than that. You need to take responsibility for your life and be there for your family and friends. Anything less than that is unacceptable.
I do not know about you but I am tired of people relinquishing responsibility to others for their problems. You owe it to yourself, to your family, to your friends, to your country, to your world to be the best person you can be. We all need to be proactive people for ourselves and for our society. We need to be better than we are and work together to make a paradigm shift in our world.
Are you prepared to take charge of your life? I hope so as no one else can do it for you. You need to do it in order to live an authentic life.