Proactivity means more than just taking the initiative. As humans, we are responsible for our own lives. In other words, proactive people recognize they are solely responsible for their actions. They do not blame the conditions or circumstances for their behavior.

The behavior of proactive people is a function of their decisions. On the contrary, an emotionally reactive person will blame everything on their condition. When talking about Habit 1, Covey describes how a proactive approach helps to acknowledge a mistake quickly so that instant actions can be taken to resolve it instead of waiting for it to become a more serious issue.

Covey explains that people who exhibit these habits are proactive and tend to take action compared to reactive people who depend on their physical environment. He describes that proactive people invest their time and energy in resolving issues rather than reactive people who spend their time worrying and blaming others.

He also discusses that proactive people concentrate on their circle of influence, which revolves around health, children, problems, and work. In contrast, reactive people emphasize their circle of concern which rotates around national debt, terrorism, or weather. For long-term productivity, we suggest using the proactive approach.

“The best way to predict your future is to create it - Abraham Lincoln.”

To be proactive is to take responsibility for your life. Habit one, being proactive, is the foundation of all the other habits in the book “7 habits of highly effective people”.

We spent some time scouring the internet to find some nuggets related to this particular habit of highly effective people.

  • Circle of Influence is an interesting take by Franklin Covey in 7 habits be proactive about how proactive people influence the circle over which they have control. If one is proactive, one can take small steps, redefine the purpose of their existence in one role, and take steps for the greater good.

  • This Pinterest board is about proactive seven habits. It has some exciting ideas for kids, teens, and professionals to follow. You can check it out and, if possible, share and save some.

Reactive and Proactive People

How To Differentiate Proactivity From Reactivity?

Proactive and reactive thinking is more than just two ways of thinking. Instead, they are a whole life philosophy. They are ways of looking introspectively and at the outside world for yourself. The most successful people think proactively initially, and then they think reactively. This helps them to achieve long-term productivity and the best results in their daily lives.

Reactive behavior refers to the quick response to feelings about an uncontrollable situation. The reactions often result from actions that took place in the past. For example, if you lose a game, the sense of disappointment is reactive behavior. In other cases, reactive behavior results when someone places the needs of others over their priorities.

On the other hand, proactive behavior or a proactive approach concerns anticipating problems or issues to generate positive results. People who practice proactive behavior often look at the entire situation to plan for unprecedented circumstances. Proactive planners think about what to do before an event happens. In other words, you make decisions based on your thinking.

Proactive thinking leads to success since you are planning for the future. In simple words, proactive thinkers control the world around them. On the contrary, reactive thinkers are controlled by the world.

How Can You Be Trained To Be Proactive?

You could develop your sense of proactivity by tuning in to your daily frustrations. The more you realize what does not work around you, the more inclined you would be to want to fix it if possible.

  1. Pay attention to what frustrates you daily and find a way to solve it if possible. By fixing minor issues every day, we will start taking responsibility.
  2. Another way to start is to spend 5 minutes at night reflecting on your day, identifying these frustrations, and considering a potential solution. The next day, you try actually to apply what you came up with.

Key Takeaways of Habit 1 of 7 Habits

Being proactive means taking charge of your doings instead of waiting for others to let you know what needs to be done. Proactive people focus on taking action toward solving the problem instead of relying on suggestions from others.

  • Proactive people are always prepared for things that help them mitigate risks and deal with every situation best.
  • Proactive nature helps to identify the need for change. When you plan something for the future, you end up having ample time to think about things that can cause hindrances and how you can work to resolve the issues more proficiently.
  • A proactive approach to life helps you stay head over heels; you are always working and planning for things beforehand to fix them.
  • Proactive approach helps businesses, too. If they take proactive actions toward a problem, they can simultaneously evade unfortunate circumstances and save time and money. Your business will be able to tackle the issue in its initial stages before it transforms into a disaster.
  • Proactive organizations build the future they want. They plan the future roadmap instead of waiting for external forces to decide their direction.
  • People with a proactive approach are self-aware. They know where they lack and work on their weaknesses to avoid obstacles easily.


    Having a proactive approach is all about taking the responsibility of your life. Proactive individuals do not blame their circumstances and plan the future ahead. They do not let the external force influence their behavior.

    If you want to pursue a proactive approach, WeekPlan may be the ideal fit for you. This is since WeekPlan lets you plan for the future in advance. With WeekPlan, you can easily set your future roadmap and build the future as you desire.

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