Summary

When talking about habit one, 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 this habit are proactive in nature and tend to take action as compared to people who are reactive people who depend on their physical environment. He describes that proactive people invest their time and energy on 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 whereas, reactive people emphasize their circle of concern which rotates around national debt, terrorism, or weather.


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

To be proactive is to take responsibility for your life. The Habit one, be 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.

  • A video by Dr. Stephen Covey himself in which he explains what exactly meant by Being Proactive

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

Difference between Proactive and Reactive Focus

  • Be Proactive Board: This Pinterest board around be proactive 7 habits. It has some interesting ideas for kids, teens, professionals to follow. You can check it out for sure and if possible share and save some.

Screenshot of Pinterest pin

How to practice being proactive?

I found that I could develop my sense of proactivity by tuning in with my daily frustrations. The more I’d realize what doesn’t work around me, the more inclined I’d be to want to fix it if possible.

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

Key Takeaways

By being proactive means taking charge of your doings instead of waiting for others to let you know regarding what needs to be done. Proactive people focus on taking actions towards 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 in the best way.

Proactive nature helps to identify the need for change. When you plan things for the future, you end with having ample time to think about things that can cause hindrance, and how you can work to resolve the issues in a more proficient manner.

A proactive approach to life helps you in staying head over heels, you are always working and planning for things beforehand to resolve them.

Proactive nature also helps businesses, too. If they take proactive actions towards a problem, then they can evade unfortunate circumstances and save their time and money simultaneously. 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 themselves instead of waiting for external forces to decide their direction.

Proactive people are self-aware. They know where they lack and work on their lacking so that they can avoid obstacles easily.

Proactivity brings peace of mind. When you plan for the future in advance, you are actually preparing the bad, which is yet to come. So, when the time comes you are aware of the measure you need to take to make things favorable.

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