HABIT 1 - BE PROACTIVE

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Your life doesn't just "happen." Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear. Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results. Watch the video below and think about the choices each has made.
Being Proactive - Video

Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.

Habit 1 Defined - Being a PROACTIVE person.

Being proactive means taking responsibility for our own life. It means being "response-able," or able to choose our responses and actions in life. Responsible, proactive people don't blame parents, teachers, and others for their faults. They don't look for excuses. They don't blame bad "weather" for their circumstances. Reactive people behave this way. These people are constantly affected by the will and behaviors of others. They are not in control. Proactive people understand that between stimulus (things that happen to you) and response (how you act), we all have choice. We can always choose our attitude, mood, language, and behavior. In the video clip below, Covey talks about the power of our choices.
Stephen Covey Power of Choice

Circle of Concern vs. Circle of Influence

Instead of spending time and effort on things that are not under their control, proactive people focus their energy on things that they can control. Covey says that things we can affect are found in our "Circle of Influence." Things that we have little or no control over fall into our "Circle of Concern", which is to say that it concerns us, but we can't do anything about it. Being truly proactive means that we commit our efforts to the things in our Circle of Influence. We can't control what others say and do, but we CAN control our actions and behaviors.

Let's see an example: John and Janet are both failing Algebra. John constantly complains about Mr. George. He has been to see Mr. George several times, saying things like, "I just can't get this. I'm no good at math," and "Why can't you teach me better?" He has blamed his teacher, his intelligence, and even his genetics, but what has he actually done to help his situation?

Janet has taken a different approach. She went out and found a tutor to help her learn better strategies. She asked Mr. George for some more work for practice. She committed to spending more time in the evenings to algebra practice.

Who do you think will improve their algebra grade?

Please click on the link below to complete the Habit 1 survey.

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Source: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey (1989)