Prepared for Anything
“Be Prepared.” This is the Scout motto, and it perfectly states what being proactive is all about.
In order to live a proactive, not a reactive life, we must literally be prepared for anything and everything to the best of our abilities. This is how we avoid becoming victims. Being proactive is taking action. Being reactive is being passive. It’s about making it happen instead of just letting it happen to you.
Say Goodbye to Passivity
Some folks act as if they are on a wild boat ride and have to passively go with wherever life’s current takes them, even if they end up smashed on the rocks, lost at sea, or capsized and drowned. They don’t seem to realize that they are the captain of their own ship.
There are plenty of things that happen in life that we have no control over, but we also have control over much of what does happen in our lives. We don’t have to surrender to suffering through all of life’s more shocking surprises. Sometimes we can “head ‘em off at the pass” by being proactive. If you’re not sure what to do, remain positive and hopeful and trust that the solution will present itself, for it will.
Taking the initiative is a great stress-reliever, because action is often the antidote to despair. Research is one way to do this. If you want to travel somewhere, seek a new career, or purchase an expensive new item, research the daylights out of it beforehand.
Things Happen…Be Prepared
Have you ever desperately needed a mint or chewing gum due to a less-than-fresh breath emergency? Have you split a seam in your clothes without a safety pin or needle and thread anywhere around, or scratched yourself and needed a bandage? What about running out of gas on the road? Did someone say something hurtful and you reacted in a defensive way or ended up holding an unhealthy grudge?
If these kinds of things make you want to throw a fit of rage or sit down and cry, that’s being reactive. While such reactions are understandable, they are often also preventable. It’s better to be proactive instead and put some breath mints in your pocket or purse. Have a couple of safety pins or a little sewing kit in your backpack or briefcase. Tuck in a couple of adhesive bandages as well. Keep a couple of extra gallons in your car tank. To ease the sting of someone else’s unkindness to you, dip into your inner kindness and say something loving to yourself.
Being Proactive is a Comfort
Having a little extra of whatever you use often can be a real comfort for that rainy day, whether it’s basic food items you rely on, extra toiletries, or just a few extra dollars stashed away. When you take your car in to a mechanic for a check-up, take your body to a doctor for a check-up, too.
For sudden weather changes you can be proactive by being prepared: Have a coat or sweater handy–you can tie it around your waist if need be. Carry a bottle of water everywhere you go and keep a little pocket flashlight close by. And always keep a little cash on you. This is how you either solve problems or stop problems before they happen.
Reflect and Commit
Think of every event you’ve experienced where if you’d only had a certain item or had pre-planned for a certain thing, you wouldn’t have gone through an absolute nightmare. Write these things down and make a plan for how to be ready for everything you can think of if these things ever happen again. Take this further and imagine each possible event that might happen in your life and think it completely through. What are all the possible outcomes? How can you make yourself ready to deal with each one?
For those who hate committing to any plan at all for fear of losing their freedom, know that this way of being creates more chaos and misery than just making a decision and choosing to set a time. You can usually make changes later if you need to do so. Remember: Structure brings freedom.
Give Yourself Superpowers
One reason superheroes are so popular is because they are proactive. They are prepared, they are ready for almost anything. Be your own superhero. You may think you don’t have superpowers, but you do have a brain, a heart, intuition, and when you need it, a fighting spirit. Let these things be your superpowers.
Even when we plan ahead, plans can go off the rails. When that happens, as it sometimes will, just get busy making a new plan. We can only do the best we can, and when we know better, we do better. If the issue looms large, let yourself take baby-steps. Sometimes the thing you most need to do is what is right in front of you. Being proactive by being prepared makes you instantly feel a million percent better, because you’ve taken control of your life.
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