One of the areas that I have been trying to convey throughout my blogs from what I have learnt about self-help is the power of taking responsibility over my own actions. So when I cam across Stephen Covey’s book the “7 habits of highly effective people”, it really resonated with me. Convey talks about how my ability to respond to things is within my own power, Covey calls that responsibility “response-ability,” because it is my ability to respond to events around me that gives me the greatest control to how I want to “succeed” as success means different things to different people I put that in quotations.
After reading “7 habits of highly effective people” I thought I would share some of the takeaways from the book and in this blog post I want to talk about becoming a more proactive person rather than a reactive one.
The first habit that Covey discusses is being proactive. Covey postulates that it is peoples ability to examine our own character, to decide how to view ourselves and our situations, and to control our own effectiveness, and in order to be effective one must be proactive. Covey examines the work of Viktor Frankl most notably book “Mans search for meaning”based from his time in a concentration camp during World War II. Frankl understood that those within the camp that reacted to events happening to them didn’t fair too well next to the people who where proactive and adapted to their situation.
Covey argues that reactive people take a passive stance — they believe the world is happening to them. Reactivity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and reactive people feel increasingly victimized and out of control. Proactive people, however, recognize they have responsibility — or “response-ability,” which Covey defines as the ability to choose how you will respond to a given event or situation.
With this in mind, it becomes easy to react to situations around us with a negative view, and other people around us who also are reactive compound the same outlook, we bond together in a reactive way; instead of figuring out how can we change whatever it is that we see as a problem. In other words, we must work on the things we can do something about.
I want to end this blog post on this note: You are responsible for your life.