‘Be proactive’ is the first habit of effectiveness as rightly laid out in the famous book ‘Seven habits of highly effective people’ by Stephen R. Covey. We have also often heard ‘old habits die hard’. The primary reason being we identify these habits (good and bad) as part of our self – our defining characteristics, and often are not comfortable with changing these. Sometimes we even secretly like to preserve our bad habits.
To learn new habits it is also essential that we unlearn our old bad habits – we cannot fill a cup which is already full and overflowing! It is important to identify the things we have to get rid of first.
In the following text presents a step by step guide to develop the habit of “Being proactive”.
The unlearning stage:
1 Stop playing the blame game:
The tendency to blame is hard to overcome
o When we find ourselves in a tough situation the first thing we want to do isto absolve ourselves. Then automatically the responsibility to change falls on the person being blamed. We can now carry on cribbing about the situation and actually do nothing about it
o So while we point a finger at others we must remember that three fingers are pointing at us.
To change our way of doing things is relatively easier than expecting others to change for us
2 Stop Negative Thoughts:
Law of attraction applies to negative thoughts.
o When one embraces it, it brings with itself a host of others from all directions.
o This leads to a chain reaction
o We first become irritated then unhappy and finally miserable.The best way is to say no to the first negative thought
o It becomes easy once we nip the problem in the bud!
3 Stop thinking you can’t do anything about things:
What if Mahatma Gandhi thought he can’t do anything about throwing the British out of India?
o He was a frail man without any resources then how did he mobilize the entire nation.
A lot of times we think we can’t do anything But the surprising thing is – the very little that we CAN do is usually sufficient to get what we want!
4 Stop Postponing:
How we love to postpone things!
o It’s the laziness in most of us, that we do not wish to overcome
o But desire alone cannot bring change in us
o We have to stop leaving things to tomorrow if we want result
The method is simple
o Self – Discipline: be a little strict with yourself
o Don’t forget to reward yourself when you do things in time!
Try these simple things for two weeks and see, you will already be feeling much better about life!
Now that 75% of the first habit is done – a few more things will come easy to you, and you will soon be the master of proactive behaviour!
– By Yamini